There’s a lot of places where anger touches me. What’s being done to this country and in the world these days, for instance. Human trafficking. Intentionally killing babies. Willfully breeding confusion. Purposely stirring up chaos. Deliberate destruction. Hatred of human life. Selfishness. Self will.
One can’t help but feel angry when one looks around. And you know, we need to say it. To speak what’s right. To get it into words. To actually state what makes us angry is quite healthy. And it’s needed in a world where evil seems to be taking precedence. We shouldn’t be quiet about what’s wrong.
However, what isn’t healthy is going beyond that.
Brooding on your anger. Focusing on what “they” are doing. Constantly thinking on the ways “they” are hurting things. Stewing. Agonizing. Yes, we see it, and we need to state it, but there’s a place of “glutting” ourselves on what “they” are doing.
“Be angry and do not sin. Meditate in your heart upon your bed and be still,” the scriptures tell us.
It’s in us to see what’s right and wrong and to be angry at the wrong. God has made us with an inherent sense of justice. Thoughts come up. It’s not sin for us to see what makes us angry and to acknowledge it. But according to this verse, there is a line where anger becomes sin. See it, say it–and then “be still”.
The root meanings of those two words ‘be still’ are: cease to destroy, cause to cease, cease to be astonished. In other words, cease from the sense of being dumbfounded by it (I can’t believe these stupid people are doing this!). That’s where we need to cease because that’s where accusation starts to get in–and that’s the place where it becomes sin. Jesus touched on this. He said, “If you call your brother an idiot, you’re in danger of hellfire.” No, maybe you’re not gonna lose your salvation—but is it okay with you to be playing with fire from hell??
To be angry and not sin is to see what’s wrong and to see what is sin, but not get personal with the people involved. People, no matter what they’ve done, be that a friend or enemy, a leader making bad decisions, those following a wrong path, or just somebody you don’t agree with in general, is God‘s creation, made in his image–and that deserves recognition and respect.
There’s a whole lot of reasons to call people idiots nowadays. Trust me, I get it. But beware. We must always come back to mercy in our heart. We must always come to that stillness, even if we have to do it again and again and again. We must always give place to the Lord, and respect the fact that even the bad guys and idiots are his creation and belong to him.
It costs something to be like Christ. It costs our opinions, our pride and even our pain and grief. It costs our angry words. We must be careful to not lose our power to love even an enemy. We do this by always returning to the “be still”.
“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5.5
“Offer the sacrifices of righteousness and trust in the Lord.” Psalm 4.5.