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Monday, January 11, 2021

Anger (#3)

By Joe Slater

    Anger can be righteous or sinful. How can you tell the difference? Thus far we’ve asked, “Why are you angry?” and, “What fruit comes from your anger?” Now consider a third question: “How quickly are you angry?
    Wise Solomon wrote, “He who is quick-tempered acts foolishly” (Proverbs 14:17). The same author said, “Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9).
    In stark contrast David wrote, “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy” (Psalm 103:8). And James 1:19-20 admonishes us in “Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
    A short temper is no laughing matter! One may pass it off, saying, “Yes, I blow up, but I calm right back down.” Perhaps so, but the same is true of a stick of dynamite! And the damage from the explosion remains.
    Finally, we should ask, “How long to you stay angry?” Quoting David in Psalm 4:4, Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:26-27, “‘Be angry, and do not sin;’ do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.” A grudge harms no one but the person holding it. Harboring ill will serves Satan’s purposes shows a lack of trust in God. Rather than follow such a destructive course, let’s heed David’s counsel as his psalm continues, “Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Offer the sacrifices of the righteous, and put your trust in the Lord” (Psalm 4:4b-5).
- 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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