Don’t Be Mad

Psalms 37:8   (NLT)   Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.

Not all anger is sinful, but as much as possible we should avoid being angry. When we get angry, it is very easy to lose control. Our anger could quickly, easily, and dangerously escalate to hatred and rage. That is not good for us. We can do things that are very Psalm 37.8 - Don't be Madharmful—not only to us, but more so to others. When we act from deep anger we often don’t think rationally. We act out of extreme emotions. Most of the time, we end up doing things we later regret, but often, it is too late; the damage is done.

There are gazillions of reasons for getting mad. Many times also, we seem to think anger is more effective in getting people’s attention. We feel they take us more seriously when we’re angry, but experience tells us otherwise. Someone very close to me have often stated that she does not respond positively to angry corrections or instructions, in fact, she freezes, and her mind shuts down. Of course, it is difficult for me to understand this, probably because there are times I react positively to anger. There have been many occasions when I did the right thing because I did not want people I love to get disappointed and angry with me. I understand: not everyone is the same. I can only theorize, but it seems like there are people who have a hard time understanding and reacting favorably when being scolded out of anger. We just end up feeling extremely bad; anger does that. Venting out our anger may not necessarily be always a good thing to do; it can be counter-productive.

Praise God; He is not the same as us; He is very patient with us. Just imagine if He gets angry with us as quickly as we do with others. If God finds patience and peace beneficial, it does us well to imitate Him; there is wisdom in it. There will be very disappointing people; there will be very irritating actions; there will be many situations when anger is justified. But as much as it all depends on us, it’s best not to get angry. This does not mean lack of correction, or instruction, or discipline. We still correct, but we do so in a calm, controlled, peaceful, and loving manner. It’s much better that way. We save ourselves from headache, heartache, and high blood pressure, and from big potential of sinning against our immensely patient God and Father—that’s a big difference.

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Peace!

Genesis 31:37   (NLT)   You have rummaged through everything I own. Now show me what you found that belongs to you! Set it out here in front of us, before our relatives, for all to see. Let them judge between us!

Laban was mad; Jacob was mad. Laban felt like he lost his daughters and grandchildren and his flocks all in one day. In addition, he lost one of his treasured graven images or idols. Jacob on the other hand felt like he was being very unjustly accused for something Genesis 31.37 - Peacehe did not do. The fact is: Laban really lost his idol, and that it was stolen from him—but not by Jacob. The fact too is: Jacob was innocent. They were both angry thinking they’re wronged by the other person. Laban could not come up with a proof regarding his lost idol. That gave Jacob more reasons to be furious.

This is so true to us. We fight because we believe we are wronged by another person.  Many times, the other person feels like we’re the ones who did them wrong. In many cases, there are areas where we’re both right, and in many cases, there are areas where both are wrong. And just because one party could not come up with a good or better argument or an obvious proof does not mean they don’t have a valid point. Just because we appear to be right doesn’t mean we are right—and vice versa. This is why we have to be very careful in jumping to conclusions.

We have to do everything to understand the other party. We have to put ourselves in their shoes. We have to see things from their perspective. The more truth we know, the more we’re able to make better judgment. If it’s at all possible, it is better to pursue peace; it’s better to avoid getting angry. It is not sinful to be angry, but we have to realize how easily it could lead to sin. Often, anger can blind us. It’s better to be understanding and to be more considerate of other people—

their feelings, their perceptions, and their reactions.  This does not mean we have to compromise; this just means we have to be more passionate about the truth and about loving others. We love peace; we pursue it as much as we can; we preserve it if it at all depends on us.

Moderation

Philippians 4:5   (KJV)   5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Moderation has much to do in relation to the coming of the Lord. The Lord’s return is near. Readiness for His return—wise preparation includes this most often overlooked virtue.

Philippians 4.5 - ModerationInstead of insisting on our own preferences, we give way. We don’t enforce our choices; we don’t lord it over others; instead, we reflect the gentle spirit of our Lord, His graciousness, His unselfishness, mercy, and understanding. It isn’t easy, but it’s doable. People often do things that are very foolish and can easily anger us, especially when their thoughtless actions result to more hard work for us—grrrr.

But we can’t be preoccupied with anger and frustration. It takes a lot of yieldedness to God’s Spirit, but we choose to see past people’s senselessness. Through this, we avoid anger and conflicts that can render us less effective in our testimony. We’d rather be more focused on the Lord’s coming than our own personal fulfillment. People are watching; we represent our Lord; we watch for His return; we watch our actions and reactions.

From Mourning to Dancing

Psalm 30:5   (KJV)   5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

The God of love also gets angry.  But we can still be joyful about it because His anger is but for a moment—it doesn’t last for a long time. We’re willing to be under His discipline and/or punishment, rather under man’s punishment and/or vengeance.  God is inifintely Psalm 30.5 - Mourning Into Dancingmore merciful than us.  Our God is a merciful and gracious, and His favour towards us lasts for a lifetime;  I would even say, it lasts forever.

As believers, we’re not exempt from loneliness. We can still spend days and nights of sorrow.  It isn’t sinful to be sad.  Even our precious Lord Jesus experienced extremely deep grief in the Garden of Gethsemane—hours before His death.  But we also know: sadness too is momentary.  Joy awaits and dawns upon us.  We may weep at night, but joy characterizes the life of a believer.  Instead of a face of a downtrodden, we wear smiles on our lips.

Our God can, He is willing, and He does turn our mourning into dancing; He changes our garments of sadness with garments of gladness. Praise God!!!  As we experience pain and loneliness, we do so with hope for a joyful tomorrow.