Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 29, 2015
Guest Writer: Meet my friend Shana Schutte. We are blessed to have her as our guest writer.
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. John 4:24
In one of my former jobs I hung a poster outside my cubicle showing Lucy from “Peanuts” screaming, “Look out, everybody! I’m gonna be cranky for the rest of the day!” Lucy’s announcement became a joke with my coworkers, because she’s so not like me. I don’t usually show anger. In my youth I learned that anger was unacceptable, possibly because I often saw it misused. When I came to Christ, this faulty message was reinforced in church. After all, good Christian boys and girls never get angry, right? Wrong. Not only is this teaching wrong, but God expects that we’ll experience anger. Jesus never said, “Don’t get angry,” but rather Paul instructs us to “Be angry, and do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26, NKJV).
In this scripture He acknowledged that people would get angry. Why? Because anger is a secondary response to emotional pain. No doubt there’s a lot of emotional pain to go around on this sin-filled planet. Anger will happen! Anger is a red light on the dashboard of a car signaling that something’s wrong under the hood—there’s a hurt we need to give to God, or forgiveness we need to grant someone. Anger also has the potential to take us to places of deeper intimacy with Christ when we bring our disappointments to Him for healing.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
How can you do this? Yell or scream when no one is around, or run outside and holler. Clobber your pillow. You can also do what author Muriel Cook calls “hot pen journaling.” Write down your true emotions without sweetening them. Be real. Tell God the truth. Then ask Him to show you what’s fueling your anger so He can minister to your pain through prayer and His Word. Conversing with God about your anger thwarts Satan’s plan to destroy your affection for Christ, because it keeps communication open with Christ.
For some people, being real with God about their anger may sound sacrilegious. After all, aren’t most people composed and postured, even when the world and the devil walk all over them? The psalmists, inspired by the Holy Spirit, were honest with God about their rawest emotions—including anger. To cry out in anger and anguish because life hurts is normal.
I’m not saying it’s okay to mock God or treat Him with irreverence. Certainly there’s a difference between taking your anger to God for healing and aiming your anger at God in defiance and rage. Taking your anger to God in humility means you’re operating in faith, that you feel safe enough to trust Him with your most uncomfortable and ugly emotions, and to approach His throne of grace with confidence to find mercy in your time of need (Hebrews 4:16). It also means you’ve opened your heart to Him in faith so He can heal you. “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being. . .” (Psalm 51:6)
Prayer: Lord, I am so grateful that I never have to withhold my ugliest feelings from you, even my anger. Please help me take it to you instead of hurting others with it. And thank you that you always empathize with my weaknesses and what I am going through.
Related Readings: Psalm 66:18; Psalm 51:17; Psalm 34:18; Proverbs 29:11
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© 2015 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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