June 1, 2009

Anger Word Study - Part 1

I used the concordance in my Bible to look up the word Anger. I’m really struggling with it, to the point where I have absolutely NO witness at work. Even my home life is suffering. I honestly don’t want to be like this, but I can’t seem to not be frustrated, tired of, angry with, or down right PO’ed about someone or something. Whether it’s my termination for the Sheriff’s Office, the incompetence of coworkers and supervisor, or daily frustrations with humanity in general, I’m always mad, frustrated, and angry. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m perfect. Some people may think I believe I am because of my attitude towards them over some issue (big or small), but I really don’t think I’m perfect. I make mistakes. I don’t follow all the best practices. My first example is, MY ANGER. I claim to be a Christian and I don't live as though I am one. There's a huge failure.

So here I go. Here are the first set of verses I've read and written about. There are more to come...that's why this is "part 1."

Anger

Numbers 14:18 “The Lord is slow to anger…” This is Moses talking to God and of God’s character. He asked God to pardon the Israelites for their rebellion. Long story short (‘cause we all know the Israelites rebelled several times; and still are) God agreed to have mercy and pardoned them. God pardons those who rebelled against Him all the time. He is slow to anger, although His wrath would be justified.

Joshua 7:1 “But the people of Israel broke faith…And the anger of the Lord burned against the people of Israel.” When God does get Angry, it is justified. He becomes angry with the people of Israel because they didn’t have faith in God. Ultimately God chose to allow some to die over their lack of faith. Again his wrath is justified because of a rebellion and breaking of faith in Him.

1 Samuel 11:6 “And the Spirit of God rushed upon Saul when he heard these words, and his anger was greatly kindled.” Saul was a man chosen of God, an Israelite, who were God’s chosen people. The threat against their lives and safety was great, but God was greater. Anger here was justified because it came from God. Again, a righteous anger, against those who desired to harm God’s chosen people.

Psalm 6:1 “O Lord, rebuke me not in Your anger, nor discipline me in Your wrath.” David was a sinful man. He was involved in such sins as murder and adultery. And David was loved by God and was called “a man after God’s own heart.” But David had a respectful fear of God’s anger. He was fearful and asked God not to rebuke him because he knew he had wronged God. Which ever sin David committed that lead him to write this Psalm, he knew God could be justifiably angry with and rebuke him. God’s anger is justified again in here, because of wrongs done against Him as God.

Psalm 86:15 “But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” David again writes about God’s anger. And although God is justified and righteous in His anger, with many, many reasons to be angry, He is “slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Love may be the key to controlling anger. Understanding God’s love for us, may put our need to be loving into perspective, ultimately curbing our anger.

Proverbs 14:29 “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.” This Proverb is very convicting. If I did think I knew it all, my anger would point to the fact that my understanding is very limited. And the follies that are in my life, and have been for the last 2 years, are evidence to my issues with my temper. The drama I create with my anger and frustration compound these issues. Patience and love seem to be the keys to success in this.

Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” This is a proverb more geared toward turning away wrath. This is also something I need to work on. I don’t have a filter on my tongue. I often speak before I think, and I often say things without the sensitivity needed or I say things I shouldn’t.

Proverbs 16:32Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty…” Being able to control anger is so important to living lives glorifying to God. Better than the mighty. Someone with power has nothing over someone who can control anger. This is huge for me too. I look at my job in law enforcement as a “powerful” job. But controlling my anger is so much greater a feat than being in that role as a cop. It is a bigger accomplishment.