Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Righteousness of God or the Anger of Man

I was reading the book of James recently and chapter 1 verses 19-20 popped out at me. The verses read, "My dear brothers, take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." My natural human inclination is not to take circumstances that do not seem fair and equitable in a calm and peaceful manner. It is more likely that I jump to the thought of "that's not fair" and come up with 47 reasons as to why and how the other side is wrong.

God's been showing me that while this type of reaction may be the natural one, it is not of Him. It's one of those my-own-power-and-not-His type of things. There is such a thing as a righteous and holy anger and times that are appropriate for this but so many times we experience anger that have undertones of selfishness. Whether we're right or not is not the point. Instead we should focus our reactions, words, and expressions on surrendering to Him and His view on the importance of things. Put very simply, what's eternal and what's temporary?

There are numerous examples throughout the Bible of people who got done wrong but instead of dwelling on the circumstances they chose to make the best of things and bring honor to God through their actions. Jesus, David, Job, Paul, and Daniel are prominent figures who experienced such persecution. By choosing to direct their focus on God rather than the unfair situation, they remained in communion with God and did not allow others to rob them of their ultimate joy and relationship with Him.

As I face the world and the stuff of the world, I can choose "the righteous life that God desires" or the anger of man. I'm thinking God's got the better option.

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