Weekly Sabbath Survey
Uncontrolled Anger — 9-28-13
In today’s world, even among Believers, there are ‘anger issues.’ People in the business community are routinely ordered to anger management classes when employee disputes get out of hand. We have people shooting people for no reason, terrorists blowing up buildings and human beings to make a political statement, people once madly in love trying to crucify each other through divorce attorneys.
Our extreme anger is something we don’t usually talk about. We all want to sit with our pretty dress hem pulled over our knees, our legs folded over to the side with ankles crossed, and pretend that we are NOT the one who was screaming like a banshee about a half hour ago when the kids were dawdling around and not ready for church when it was time to leave. (If you are not that person, neither the male version of her, send this to your mother-in-law, or whoever fits the description.)
For years, anger was my main problem. I prayed for the Lord to reveal to me what I was so angry about, since I sometimes woke up feeling angry after a good night’s sleep. Something in my past made me so MAD that I couldn’t get past it. Every little infraction by children or spouse might induce a spit-flying tantrum. Finally, several years ago, the Lord said, “It makes no difference WHY you are so mad. I just want you to stop!!!” I didn’t have to tell Him this was easier said than done. My fits were an ingrained behavior pattern. It has been a tough project at times, many set backs. But I have come into a time of grace and peace that is so precious to me, that I don’t want anybody, even ME, spoiling it. I have begun to exercise some control over my own spirit. Having even a small victory is so sweet.
I believe calling this kind of anger “uncontrolled” is honestly an incorrect term. It seems to imply that the angry person is unable to control it, that it is something we can’t help. But the fact is, in all my years of being so angry, I never pulled a full bore hissy fit in a crowded store, or in front of the preacher, or at the Ladies Spring Tea. These melt downs happen around the people we trust and love the most, our family. The family is either indulging us or too intimidated by us to stop us. These outbursts of rage usually have a demonic aspect to them, but they are NOT beyond our control.
At one point I was helped (even frightened) by something John Hagee wrote in his book, The Seven Secrets. This short passage spoke volumes to me concerning the serious matter of anger to the level of RAGE. Maybe it will help someone else, too.
Moses’ failure to control his anger first appeared when he murdered the Egyptian. Then, his anger reappeared when he came down from Mt. Sinai, threw down the Ten Commandments and smashed them to pieces. This type of uncontrolled anger appears a third time in Numbers 20, when God told Moses to “speak to the rock” but he struck the rock in rage.
His frustration with other people’s conduct affected his relationship with God.
Remember God’s answer to Moses’ final act of uncontrolled anger: God forbade Moses to enter the Promised Land with the children of Israel. Three times in Deuteronomy Moses prayed for God to change His mind, and God said that His judgment would stand.
Moses’ anger killed his dream. His anger kept him from his divine destiny!
When I got to that last sentence, I was pretty much in tears. Can our obstinate behavior and refusals to handle these issues actually cause us to miss something God wanted for us? It seemed to with Moses. And God loved Him really face to face.
This serving the Lord walking with Jesus thing is serious business. We should never take lightly the nature of our position with Him. Unto whom much is given, much is required. God is looking for extreme reverence and obedience and awe from us. We should NEVER excuse or minimize the seriousness of our sins, particularly ones that recur frequently and have become a habit. They might keep us from our divine destiny.
If you are angry, don’t sin by nursing your grudge. Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath. Get over it quickly, for when you are angry you give a mighty foothold to the devil.
Ephesians 4:26-27. (The Living Bible)
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah