Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Throwing out the old: Anger and rage

"This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger" (James 1:19, New American Standard Bible).

Almost everyone I know seems to have a "button" or two, something that has potential to make them upset. Sometimes, anger simmers. Other times, it can boil over into rage and tear at things or people around us, even ourselves.

God shows us an alternative. Psalm 145:8 reads, "The LORD is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness" (NASB). He asks us to be quick to listen, and yet slow to speak and slow to anger.  We aren't perfect, but the way we can live it out is by looking at Jesus' life and by the Holy Spirit's power working in us.

Whether anger and rage are common or rare within us, we can remember that God is Immanuel, God with us. As we are tempted to act in anger, let's ask God to make it simmer before we move on with the day. He is in control. As we set our trust in Him, He will lead us through whatever is going on.

Lord, help us listen to others and to be slow to speak and slow to anger. Protect us from anger boiling over and its results. We ask that You give us hearts that can respond with the grace and mercy You've shown us. Amen.

Above study based on the workbook HeartCall: Women Sharing God's Heart (Jaye Martin, 1999).
Image from http://www.dianagabriel.com/blog