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  • 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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BE SLOW TO ANGER

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. Continue reading

Pride Leads to Unrighteous Anger

Jonathan EdwardsQuoting Jonathan Edwards:

Pride is one chief cause of undue anger. It is because men are proud, and exalt themselves in their own hearts, that they are revengeful, and are apt to be excited, and to make great things out of little ones that may be against themselves. Yea, they even treat as vices things that are in themselves virtues, when they think their honor is touched, or when their will is crossed. And it is pride that makes men so unreasonable and rash in their anger, and raises it to such a high degree, and continues it so long, and often keeps it up in the form of habitual malice… If men sought not chiefly their own private and selfish interests, but the glory of God and the common good, then their spirit would be a great deal more stirred up in God’s cause than in their own; and they would not be prone to hasty, rash, inconsiderate, immoderate, and long-continued wrath, with any who might have injured or provoked them; but they would in a great measure forget themselves for God’s sake, and from their zeal for the honor of Christ. The end they would aim at, would be, not making themselves great, or getting their own will, but the glory of God and the good of their fellow-beings. (“The Spirit of Love the Opposite of An Angry or Wrathful Spirit”, 1 Corinthians 13:5)

Bitterness and Resentment

The Practice of GodlinessJerry Bridges:

Uncontrolled temper is soon dissipated on others. Resentment, bitterness, and self-pity build up inside our hearts and eat away at our spiritual lives like a slowly spreading cancer. (The Practice of Godliness, p. 141)

Sin Deserves Wrath

D. A. Carson

From the desk of D. A. Carson

“If in fact we believe that our sin properly deserves the wrath of God, then when we experience the sufferings of this world, all of them the consequences of human rebellion, we will be less quick to blame God and a lot quicker to recognize that we have no fundamental right to expect a life of unbroken ease and comfort. (Carson, How Long, O Lord? 47)

Six Conditions That Make Anger Sinful!

Robert E. Speer

Quoting Robert E. Speer:

1. When, to favor a resentment or feud, we imagine an injury done to us.

2. When an injury done to us becomes, in our minds, greater than it really is.

3. When, without real injury, we feel resentment on account of pain or inconvenience.

4. When indignation rises too high, and overwhelms our ability to restrain.

5. When we gratify resentments by causing pain or harm out of revenge.

6. When we are so perplexed and angry at sin in our own lives that we readily project anger at the sin we find in others. (Christ and Life, Revell, 1901, p. 104)

Jonathan Edwards: Pride As A Cause Of Unrighteous Anger

Jonathan Edwards

Quoting Jonathan Edwards:

Pride is one chief cause of undue anger. It is because men are proud, and exalt themselves in their own hearts, that they are revengeful, and are apt to be excited, and to make great things out of little ones that may be against themselves. Yea, they even treat as vices things that are in themselves virtues, when they think their honor is touched, or when their will is crossed. And it is pride that makes men so unreasonable and rash in their anger, and raises it to such a high degree, and continues it so long, and often keeps it up in the form of habitual malice… If men sought not chiefly their own private and selfish interests, but the glory of God and the common good, then their spirit would be a great deal more stirred up in God’s cause than in their own; and they would not be prone to hasty, rash, inconsiderate, immoderate, and long-continued wrath, with any who might have injured or provoked them; but they would in a great measure forget themselves for God’s sake, and from their zeal for the honor of Christ. The end they would aim at, would be, not making themselves great, or getting their own will, but the glory of God and the good of their fellow-beings. (“The Spirit of Love the Opposite of An Angry or Wrathful Spirit”, 1 Corinthians 13:5)

Howling At God

Charles H. Spurgeon

Quoting Charles H. Spurgeon:

The first time our young dog heard the thunder it startled him. He leaped up, gazed around in anger, and then began to bark at the disturber of his peace. When the next crash came he grew furious, and flew round the room, seeking to tear in pieces the intruder who dared thus to defy him. It was an odd scene. The yelping of a dog pitted against the artillery of heaven! Poor foolish creature, to think that his bark could silence the thunder-clap, or intimidate the tempest! What was he like? His imitators are not far to seek. Among us at this particular juncture there are men of an exceedingly doggish breed who go about howling at their Maker. They endeavor to bark the Almighty out of existence, to silence the voice of his gospel, and to let him know that their rest is not to be disturbed by his warnings. We need not particularize; the creatures are often heard, and are very fond of public note, even when it takes an unfriendly form. Let them alone. They present a pitiful spectacle. We could smile at them if we did not feel much more compelled to weep. The elements of a tragedy are wrapt up in this comedy. To-day they defy their Maker, but to-morrow they may be crushed beneath his righteous indignation. At any rate, the idea of fearing them must never occur to us; their loudest noise is vocalized folly; their malice is impotent, their fury is mere fume. “He that sitteth in the heavens doth laugh: the Lord doth have them in derision.” (August, 1883 Sword and Trowel)

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