Hello again, Willing Spirits!
I hope you all had an enjoyable and hard-working week. We thank God for bringing us into a new week and I pray it’s a great one, God willing.
Has there ever been a time in your life where something or someone made you feel an intense feeling of anger? What we do after feeling this is key to deciphering whether we are sinning or experiencing “righteous anger“. This is why the verse separates “sin” and “anger“. ‘Be angry, and…’ suggests that anger is justified as long as you do not sin. Now this does not mean we can go all Incredible Hulk but it does allow for us to be angry occasionally for a good cause.
Let’s take Jesus, for example. There were people who were selling and buying in the temple of God and Jesus ‘…drove out…’ all of them and ‘…overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves‘ [Matthew 21:12 NKJV]. What Jesus displayed here was righteous anger. The reason for His anger was because of the disrespect towards God. Something God too would be angry about. But notice that He did not react in a way where He physically hurt someone or cursed them or carried that anger around with Him all day or for the rest of His life. In fact, soon after they had left, he immediately began to heal the blind and lame that had entered [v.14], something that required calmness and purity. Regardless of this, anger is still harmful and we are told to be ‘…swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath…’ [James 1:19].
This leads us to the second part of this week’s verse–not allowing the sun to ‘…go down on y[our] wrath…’, in a nutshell, do not sleep angry. This is because anger is such a strong emotion that it can affect us physcially, mentally and spiritually. When we sleep, our bodies are given time to rejuvenate. If we are harboring anger within us, our bodily functions will be affected resulting in many different complications. It can disrupt our sleeping pattern and can hinder the body from getting all the rest it needs. If we go to sleep with our last thoughts being that of happiness and calmness, we are bound to sleep better. Speaking to God and reading His word are the best ways I know to end the night. It invites the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and watch over us as we sleep.
Anger also affects our health. Some medical conditions have been linked to anger. When someone becomes angry, their blood pressure rises and their heart beats faster. Muscles become tense and the digestive system is compromised. So supressed and kept anger is almost like trying to swim with a parachute, it creates stress and is destructive to the organs.
What is also importnant to note is that anger affects not just us, but those around us too. Our attitudes and behaviour are both infected when we are angry. These are then spread to those we interactive with on a daily basis which could harm them or cause trouble. We are told that ‘a wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention.’ [Proverbs 15:18]. Angry people create problems and arguments but those that are not are able to reduce conflict. As followers of Christ, we are expected to do the latter.
Anger, if used incorrectly, can prevent us from carrying out God‘s will and go against the very essence of being a child of God. So what to do with it? One way to deal with it, is to ask God for peace. Invite Him into our hearts and ask Him to help us rid of any biterness within us and renew our minds. Performing some mindfulness exercises or simply letting out our thoughts towards God could also serve as good solutions. Whatever we decide to do, God will be more than willing to help, we just have to reach out!
I pray for nothing but peace and joy for us all in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Stay blessed! X
– A Willing Spirit