“Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.” Ecc. 7:9 ESV
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;” James 1:10 ESV
“But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.” Col. 3:8
Let me tell you why I’m angry, okay? I have every reason to be angry! My anger is justified! Anyone in my position would be angry! I deserve to be! If you knew what I’m going through, you would be angry too! See what that person did to me? That’s criminal! And that other person? Yeah, not criminal, but totally wrong! Inconsiderate! Nasty! Selfish! And my dogs, wait until you hear how they’ve been behaving! Yeah, so I lost my temper. Again. I really don’t care if you understand! I have the right to be angry! I’m NOT going to get rid of this anger! I’m going to blow off a whole bunch of steam before I calm down! Got it? Yeah, you better!
This is how I lived my life for decades. Justifying everything I did wrong. Including justifying my temper. I wish I could tell you when I became a rock solid follower of the Lord Jesus Christ my temper disappeared. It didn’t. But something changed. The more I have followed Him, the more I love Him, the more I dig into His Word, the more He works on me by His Spirit through His Word, the more convicted I am and the more quickly the conviction comes. My anger is sin against a perfectly holy God. The God I adore and live and breathe for. I wish I could say I never lose my temper. I do. But with the conviction, and with my love for God, and in His strength, I have learned to repent. And, over time, the repentance has come more quickly. The temper barely lasts at all! The desire to please the Lord has increased. And the temper which once came so often comes exceedingly rarely now. It is fading away from my heart and life! Because of God! I stopped trying to justify my anger.
God’s Word teaches us to love, to forgive, to have mercy and compassion, to pray for others even those who hurt us, to be Christ-like, to be conformed to Jesus, to grow in God’s image, to be patient, to persevere, to endure, yes, even suffering, to live to love and worship God, to please and obey Him, to trust He will enable us to do what He wants us to do, including not to lose our tempers. God’s Word says “anger lodges in the heart of fools.” It also says we are to put away anger. My temper comes when I don’t get rid of the anger as soon as the Spirit of God shows it to me. I need to repent of it as soon as it comes so I don’t let it build up and burst out. Should our hearts not be filled with the love of Christ instead? Is this message for you?