This week's post by Brandon Adent, a deacon at Redeemer Church. He likes words, music, and words about music, and has already had one cup of coffee too many.
I get angry both too often and not enough.
I get riled up by inconveniences, such as slow internet or getting cut off on the highway.
But I don’t get angry near enough, not well enough, and not at the things I should. I think I’m scared to do that.
We know that God is, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness (Ex 34.36). We know, as well, that He does get angry (Judges 2, Exodus 32.9).
Human anger is scary because, even as it's not always violent, it is imperfect - or, I should say - we’re imperfect. We don’t get mad about what we should, so we have a tendency to think that our anger is inherently bad, and even if it’s righteous, our emotions - or our intellect - can easily lead us into sin; we like to think that we’re the Judge.
While human anger can be scary, it’s nothing compared to God’s anger. When He saw sin and ruin and injustice, He did something about it. He sent His Son for the wicked, and not until He had unleashed His calculated, controlled, perfect, terrifying and righteous wrath on Jesus was His mission “finished”.
We get mercy. And it’s only because our Father understands justice, and gave His Son what we deserve.
Because of the grace we have in Him, we can work for justice, mercy, and grace in this world without fear of the eternal consequences of getting it wrong.
Like Nehemiah, filled with sorrow for Jerusalem’s lack of walls, or Moses’ fury with the nation of Israel as they broke the covenant just as it was instated, we should get angry at the things that the things that make God angry, things that are an affront to His rightful authority, and prayerfully take action.
Again, we should be careful with our anger, even if it's righteous. There may be earthly consequences for taking the wrong action. But there could also be earthly consequences to doing nothing.
So what’s broken around you? Where do you see injustice, hurt, pain, and suffering? Where is justice a joke, where are human rights neglected, where is there a lack of love, of mercy, of compassion?
Ask God to act on behalf of the oppressed, and ask Him to stir your heart and mind toward action.
Pray that you’d be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Pray that anger would eventually come, and that your anger would not lead you to sin. (James 1.20, Ephesians 4.26)
Pray that you’d get angry about things that matter, and that we'd work for justice and mercy in this broken world.