Someone yelled at me as they drove by. Their waving and screaming was the picture of anger.
I’m not sure what I did to tick them off. At first, I reviewed my driving and even asked others in the car, but it was a mystery. Nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
After a few minutes of driving introspection, my thoughts turned to what kind of person loses it and starts yelling at a stranger. Now, I’m not beyond getting upset when I’m driving. I’ve honked a time or two, but rolling down my window, waving my arms, and yelling is a whole different level.
Anger does that. It catapults us to the next level before we know it.
I’m not a fan of anger, but I do have a careful respect for it. I think it, like all emotions, helps us identify something in ourselves. Have you ever been angry, but not known why? Maybe the wild person who yelled at me had something else going on in her life—something she couldn’t yell and scream at, so she blasted me instead.
We should slow down and reflect when anger bursts on the scene. But instead, we speed up. Words fly out. We stop reasoning, and go with our adrenalin, and before we know it, we’re some place we didn’t want to be.
The Bible warns us about anger. Sin and anger seem to be close friends. We’re encouraged to not let anger control us, to slow down, and to even rid ourselves of it.
It’s hard to be angry and still be loving. It might even be humanly impossible. Anger comes from a place of annoyance, hostility, and displeasure. Something violates us, and anger ensues.
The only place we see a pure mixture of anger and love is in God. Throughout the Old Testament and into the New, we see God loving his people but being provoked to anger. Justice rallies the anger of God to do something, and He does.
But He always loves first. Even in an outpouring of His anger, God’s love shines through. In the Old Testament, God poured his wrath on disobedient, idolatrous people only after he’d warned them time and time again. His anger was the last act of love, and many times, it brought the people back to Him.
In the New Testament, the pharisees angered Jesus. Their refusal to consider the truth when it was right in front of them, and the way they monetized faith in God provoked him.
But perhaps the greatest act of God’s anger flowed not from His wrath on the disobedient but on His perfect Son.
God loved us first, and because of that love, he inflicted the fullness of His wrath upon Jesus, securing an eternal hope for us if we would only believe.
God’s anger brings us home and flows from love. We cannot say the same about our anger.
Read through these Psalms and reflect on how anger affects your heart and on the loving anger of God.
Psalms 37:8 – 37:9
“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.”
“The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.”
“For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Psalms 77:9 – 77:11
“Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.”
“O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.”
Popular Bible verses about anger
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
1 Chronicles 13:10
“And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.”
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”
“Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”
“O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.”
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