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Monday, January 11, 2021

Anger (#1)

By Joe Slater

    We usually think of anger as a bad thing. Would it surprise you to know that when Scripture speaks of anger, wrath, and the like, it usually refers to God? So anger isn’t necessarily sinful. In fact, Paul quoted Psalm 4:4, “‘Be angry and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath.”
    While it’s possible for us to be angry without sinning, let’s be honest – that doesn’t happen often. Our anger, unlike God’s, is usually unjustified and involves us in sin. A few questions will help us determine whether our anger is righteous or not.
    The first question may be the most complex of all: “Why are you angry?” God asked this very question of Cain in Genesis 4:6. By reading the first five verses of that chapter, we can summarize the reason for Cain’s anger in one word: ENVY! His brother, Abel, had been accepted by God after offering a sacrifice by obedient faith. But the Lord rejected Cain and his self-willed offering. So Abel had something Cain didn’t have: God’s approval. Cain demonstrated the childish attitude, “If I can’t have it, nobody can have it!” So envy, itself a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:21), produced its evil fruit, anger.
    Is there ever a good reason for anger? Throughout Scripture, God’s anger resulted when people didn’t’ respect and obey His word. Jesus became angry when God’s Temple was defiled and God’s people abused. In the same way, sin (including our own) ought to make us angry. When God’s word is held up to ridicule, when sin is flaunted, when innocent people are abused, we ought to become angry – yes, angry enough to take steps to correct the situation. And that leads to the next question which we’ll cover next week!
- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com


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