Brothers | Losing It | Anger of Man
…the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:20)
“I had to blow up at my kids. It’s the only way they will listen!” “My wife won’t do what I say until I yell at her!” “I was so mad about that last election I’ve been letting everybody know it.” Anger feels powerful. It tells us that it will get the job done, so we give in to it. We can even convince ourselves that we are helping get God’s work done by exploding on people who aren’t cooperating. So we scream at our kids, cuss at traffic, and vomit all over social media with F-bombs and hatred. “Well done,” whispers the enemy of our souls. “You told ‘em. That’ll git er done!” And we respond with satisfied nods.
Then we stumble across this verse and do a double-take. What? You mean God doesn’t need my anger to accomplish His work? No. But what about when Jesus got angry? Let’s look at the difference between our anger and His. This verse specifies “the anger of man.” Anger of man erupts when someone violates our rights or hurts our feelings. Its goal is self-vindication. When Jesus expressed anger, it had nothing to do with His feelings. His anger was against sin and those who were using God’s house for selfish gain. His goal was God’s vindication. We can be angry about sin, suffering, and injustice without sinning. We can use that anger to do good. But when we use anger to force our own agenda, we’re not supporting God’s.
Final Thought: Are you trying to use the “anger of man” to produce the righteousness of God? He won’t cooperate with that.
Prayer: Father, I feel angry a lot and it seems justified. Show me how to separate my selfish anger from righteous anger, like Jesus had. Help me find better ways to express my ideas and defend myself than using anger. In Jesus’ name, Amen.