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In Touch - Sept. 11, 2009


Sept. 11, 2009
Unrighteous Anger

James 1:19-20 

Anger can shut down communication and break relationships apart. If suppressed, this emotion turns into resentment, which poisons thinking and behavior. Unchecked, it can boil over into an explosive expression of rage that hurts not only the intended recipient but others as well.

While we can think of many reasons to justify our anger, the only viewpoint that matters is the Lord's. From the book of Proverbs, we can gain insight into how God views angry people. He says they act foolishly (14:17), stir up strife (15:18), and commit transgressions (29:22). He also warns us not to associate with such individuals (22:24). In contrast, those who are slow to anger have great understanding (14:29) and demonstrate wisdom (29:8, 11). Keeping one's distance from strife also shows honor (20:3).

In the New Testament, the apostle James compared the tongue to a small spark that can set a whole forest on fire. (James 3:5-6) He knew the damage a furious person could do. He also wrote that our anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires for us, nor does it fit who we are in Christ. Jesus paid our sin-debt with His life in order to set us free from sinful behavior.

The few times that Jesus became angry were fully in line with God's purposes. In us, however, that emotion is usually born of self-defense or thwarted desires. If God has convicted you of unrighteous anger, confess your sin and allow the Spirit to reproduce Christ's character in you.  

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Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.

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