Monday, September 24, 2007

Be Angry and Sin Not, Part One of Many

I've been thinking about this topic. Understanding the therapeutic value of listening to our own anger as it tells us when our boundaries have been violated. Kinda like a smoke alarm. So feeling paying attention to the fair warning that anger offers us, that's healthy. (Thank you Harriett Lerner and Henry Cloud. I was listening.)

What becomes problematic for me is how to express healthy anger in a healthy appropriate way. And if I'm doing a good job riding fence on my boundaries and enforcing them before little trespasses become big trespasses, then why would I get so stinkin' angry? Why did I not address the trespass back when I was just mildly annoyed?

So one cannot just pop off in a rage and call it "expressing my anger inappropriately". But one cannot become resentful and sick and sullen by surpressing it either. Dannng. Being a good human is hard work.

So I googled "godly+angry" and I found this quote that I am considering:
"Anger...Scripture says to be angry and sin not. There are many Scriptures that speak of God's anger towards Israel,etc. *S* But, how many of us truly have godly motives when we are angry? Are we righteously angry at our husbands because they are sinning against God or are we angry because they have sinned against us? Plus, the thing we have to remember is that when God is angry, every other attribute of His is in operation so He never sins when He is angry. For instance, His love, longsuffering, patience are still in operation when He is angry. He is always Holy. I think it's a rare thing for us to be angry and not sin.

If we act on our anger by giving our husbands a cold stare, returning an angry word, slamming doors,etc. then in a sense we are trying to punish them (or take revenge) for what they have done to us. We repaying evil for evil. But, our Lord, says that He is to be man's judge... not us. So, we leave it with the Lord and pray for Him to be merciful. God says to return GOOD for EVIL and do good to them who hate you.

Matt 5:44
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Of course, most of our husbands are not enemies but I believe this principle should still apply.

Also, it is so helpful to realize how many times I may have caused someone else to be offended with me. How many times a day do we frustrate our husbands or our children or others? I want to sow mercy and LOTS of it when others are unkind to me because I definitely need others to be merciful with me. :-)"

Ouch. So they're speaking about godly anger and being angry and sinning not in the context of marriage. I'm seeking to examine the topic from a larger viewpoint as anger crops up in nearly any relationship if you have it long enough. My thoughts so far:
  • So okay, I know there have been a boatload of times I have needed mercy.
  • Therefore I must make it my practice to offer mercy to others.
  • I also know that continuing to let someone perpetrate bad disrespectful hurtful behavior on me is not doing them any favors. It's letting them sin.
  • I also know that godly anger is primarily to be a "strength on behalf of others" rising up and speaking out against injustice against "the least of these".
  • But sometimes my own heart is "the least of these" and I must speak on her behalf.
Thoughts, anyone?


Eleutheros said...

"Dannng. Being a good human is hard work."

*Chuckle* Yes, it is.

But the rewards of peace and satisfaction and contentment and... joy are well worth the effort it takes to always see things from Jehovah's point of view.

For isn't His view of the world the only one that will matter, when all else is said and done?

For Jehovah loved the world so much that he sent his only sired Son into it, knowing he would be killed for His goodness. But, He did it anyway so that anyone who beleieves in Him and His message, that the forgivness of sins has been accomplished, will not only not perish because of sin, but, will actually find his life, in the Son, to be eternal... and that eternal life would be an abundantly good one, full of hope and optimism for a good future filled to overflowing with Joys unspeakable.

The pleasures of being good, mi Lady, are they not, then, always worth the effort?

Including the learning how to be like our Father, who knows what it's like to be angry at injustice and wrongful accusations and outright lies, yet without sinning. For, if it were not possible to be like our Father, then why would His Son have said for us to be 'perfect' (greek telios "complete") just like our Father in Heaven is complete?

May Jehovah continue to increrase you in all wisdom and understanding so that you will always be good just as you were created to be, just as we all were created to be!


Sensuous Wife said...

(contented sigh)
(quiet smile)