• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Anger“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19-20 ESV)

“Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:9 ESV)

Invited by a friend, Joe attends a party where someone accidentally bumps into his arm causing Joe’s drink to spill on his slacks and shoes. The person apologizes and offers to pay for Joe’s pants to be cleaned, but Joe starts shouting and cursing. Joe then tries to pick a fight with the man, but others restrain him. Joe’s uncontrolled and foolish anger will leave behind stressed relationships and the possibility of legal problems. It is his quickness to become angry, when frustrated, that blocks Joe’s reason from resolving his problems in a rational manner.

In the philosophy courses I took as an undergraduate, we were taught that anger prevents a rational argument. Clear thinking is lost in the fog of emotion. Even people who comment on blogs and articles on the internet often cannot express their opposing opinions without descending into ad hominem attacks, verbal abuse and defamation.

Solomon teaches us that, “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.” (Proverbs 15:18 ESV) The result of uncontrolled temper is bitterness, broken relationships, and loneliness.  The best time in the world to keep your mouth closed is when you are angry.  Someone once said that, “Anger blows out the lamp of the mind.”

If you quickly lose your temper when encountering opposition or frustration of any kind, it is because there is so very little of the peace of God dwelling within you.  God’s peace does not share the room with a quick temper.  Thus, an angry person is truly most angry with himself or his indefensible opinion which is mostly based on his feelings.  Thomas a’ Kempis gives us this unique insight that an easily angered person should consider:

“Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.”

Christians can change their responses to the temptation to become angry. When we die to self and live for Christ, with the Holy Spirit’s help, we are capable of renewing our minds and exercising some control over our sinful natures. This process is called sanctification. In conclusion, with Christ in us let us pursue becoming useful servants of God and leave behind the man of anger.

Samuel at Gilgal


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