THE TOP TEN CHARACTERISTICS OF UNRIGHTEOUS ANGER

Angry woman with fists

Today I want to talk about the emotion of anger. We all get angry sometimes. Anger is an emotion created by God, and actually, there are two types of anger: righteous anger and unrighteous anger. Jesus displayed righteous anger, turning over tables when He saw people had turned His Father’s house into “a den of thieves” (Matthew 12:13). However, the Bible says to be angry and sin not. When we get angry and then allow that emotion to make us act in ways contrary to God’s Word, we end up displaying unrighteous anger.

Righteous anger can quickly turn into unrighteous anger if we are not careful.  How do we know if we have slipped from righteous anger into unrighteous anger that totally displeases God? I’m glad you asked! Here are the top ten characteristics of unrighteous anger:

  1. Anger about something that is not a direct violation of God’s Word, or a preference that you have set up as a law.
  2. A superior attitude that forgets its own imperfections and weaknesses, and looks down on others because of their flaws.
  3. Withdrawal from the person without any thought given as to how you can help the person grow and become better.
  4. A condemning attitude with the thought that this person can never be any better and fails to see that he or she is a work in progress just as you are.
  5. A failure to pray for the person to be enlightened and have a change of heart about their sin and for the Holy Spirit to help them change their ways.
  6. A failure to examine yourself to see if you have committed the very sin you are angry about when you see it in others.
  7. Talking about the person to others with absolutely no intention of gently confronting them and helping them to grow.
  8. A failure to give thought to what is possibly fueling the behavior or to see the person through Jesus’ eyes.
  9. Holding on to anger about the person’s sin for long periods of time, far more than a day, and letting it taint your behavior towards the person.
  10. Lashing out at a person in anger with un-Christlike behaviors and attitudes.

Galatians 6:1 says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” I think that Paul is encouraging us to make sure that when we see sinful behavior in others, we don’t allow ourselves to be tripped up by sin ourselves, especially the sin of unrighteous anger. You cannot be steeped in unrighteous anger and be a restorer. Therefore, anger should be like a flare, which is defined as “a sudden brief burst of bright flame or light.” Likewise, our anger should “burn out” quickly because only then can the Holy Spirit use us to make a difference.

Which one of the top ten characteristics above do you fight against the most? Please leave a comment below.

 

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PATIENCE IS YOUR FRIEND

Patience street sign

Have you been waiting on God for something? Waiting for what we want and need is hard sometimes. Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” One of the best anecdotes for heartsickness is to develop the fruit of the Spirit of patience.

What Is Patience, and Why Do We Need It?
Patience is the ability to stay peaceful on the inside and wait for what you want and need without agitation, even when things are not going as you had hoped on the outside. We don’t like to talk about patience because we don’t like to wait. We want what we want when we want it. But patience is our friend. Patience keeps us peaceful. Patience gives us the ability to endure hardship like a good soldier. It’s through faith AND patience we inherit the promises. Patience breathes life into our faith by allowing hope to remain intact for the long haul.

Examples of Patience
There are many examples in the Bible where the saints had to wait many years for God to bring their hopes and dreams to pass:

  1. The Israelites were in bondage hundreds of years before God delivered them.
  2. Joseph was in prison 12 years before he went to the palace.
  3. Jesus Himself had to wait 30 years before He started His ministry.
  4. The woman with the issue of blood waited 12 years to get her miracle.
  5. Abraham waited 23 years to get his son of promise, Isaac.

Time after time, we see that God’s people had to wait on Him for many years before they received what they hoped for. I’m not saying you will have to necessarily wait as long as they did. But what makes us think we won’t have to wait? Why do we give up on our dreams so easily?

Adjusting Our Expectations is a Must
When we study our Father’s ways, we will be much better able to hang on to our faith for longer periods of time because we know how He operates.  For example, we know He’s an “eleventh hour” kind of God. He’s usually not early, but He is NEVER late. So why do we get so impatient expecting Him to show up early on?  We know what we should expect from God based on His impeccable track record, but for some reason, we keep expecting Him to be different. Knowledge of God and how He operates will help you to maintain your peace and patience in times of difficulty. The key lies in knowing that what you are going through will not last forever because everything is subject to change but the Word of God.

Therefore, be encouraged. Be a hope addict and let patience fuel your faith for the long haul. Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” God said, “Wait on the Lord” twice. That’s important because patience will result in your heart being strengthened. Lack of patience, which eventually leads to full-blown hopelessness, will make your heart sick. Which will you choose?

How has patience proved to be a positive thing in your life? Please leave your comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth Click here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and sign up to receive my bi-weekly newsletter via email.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @TraceyLMoore1

Photo courtesy of Tom Pickering via http://www.freeimages.com