"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
June 10, 2009
Anger is something that we all have dealt with at one time or another. Sometimes we may get angry at another person, and sometimes it may be a situation that upsets us. The definition of anger is: a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. We may not often experience the hostile side of anger, but we all feel annoyed or displeased occasionally.
What is the cause of our anger? Generally speaking, it's usually because someone doesn't live up to our expectations or reacts differently then we think they should.
Parents get angry with their children because they disobey and don't do what they are told. Teens and parents often seem to butt heads because the parents want the child to do things a certain way, and the child thinks they are mature enough to make their own decisions and do things their way. Often the teenager doesn't realize that their father or mother has their best interest at heart and knows what they're talking about, because they've been through similar experiences. It can cause words of anger to be spoken between the parent and child.
Spouses can occasionally get annoyed with one another. One wants something done one way, and the other wants it done differently, and it causes an argument. Or one wants something done, and the other procrastinates and puts it off longer than their spouse thinks they should, and it can cause annoyance and displeasure.
Supervisors and employees can butt heads from time to time. The employee gets sloppy in their work or doesn't fulfill their potential, and it causes more work for their co-workers or the supervisor, which in turn can result in anger. Or at times, supervisors can either be lazy and not do their job, or else go to the other extreme and be overly demanding, which can cause a hostile work atmosphere between them and their employees.
When you spend a lot of time with someone, whether it's in the family or in the workplace, you're occasionally going to hit a nerve. And we may be the one who gets angry, or the shoe may be on the other foot, and we may be the target of the anger.
Regardless of the situation, anytime people are involved, not everyone is going to get along at all times. Sometimes it may be a matter of individuals being stressed or tired, words are spoken, and the end result is anger. Life happens! And God created us to be individuals filled with a myriad of emotions.
I believe that when Jesus lived on this earth, He too experienced and felt all the varied emotions that all humans feel. He laughed, He felt love, He felt mercy and tenderness, He cried, He had compassion, and He felt anger.
In Matthew 21:10-13 and also in Mark 11:15-27 we read the account where Jesus had just rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Some of the people spread their coats on the road before Him, and others cut down branches from the trees and placed in the road. The multitudes went before Him crying, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"
When Jesus got to the temple, He found that there were those who were buying and selling inside. He began to drive them out of the temple and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold doves. These were individuals who were profiteering and making their living off those who needed to buy a sacrifice. Their actions made Jesus angry.
I have heard people comment that they didn't believe that Jesus was really upset, but that He was just trying to make a point. I personally believe that when He saw the moneychangers and those who were profiting inside the temple for their own gain, it made him angry.
He told them, "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. But you have made it a den of thieves."
But here's the bottom line: Even though Jesus was angry at the actions of those people who were desecrating the temple for their own gain, He still loved the people.
You can be angry at someone, and still love them. You don't stop loving just because they upset you. We can love people, but not always love their actions.
Ephesians 4:26, 27 says, "Be angry, and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, neither give place to the devil."
We will all get angry from time to time during our lifetime. But when that occurs, we are not to allow that anger to cause us to sin. We are not to let that anger to fester and grow in our hearts, causing us to devise ways of retaliation. For if we do so, we are giving the devil an opportunity to work through us. If we dwell upon the cause of our anger, and allow that anger to grow, we are opening our thoughts up to the devil.
It's easy to justify our anger by thinking, "But I'm not at fault! The other person is the one who wronged me." More times than not, the person we're upset with either doesn't even know it or else they go on with their activities and forget about it. Our anger is not hurting them; we're only hurting ourselves when we hold onto it and don't let it go.
"Do not let the sun go down on your wrath" means that we get rid of the anger before it has time to grow. If at the end of each day we choose to forgive and get rid of those feelings of anger, then we can sleep with a clear conscious and have peace.
This is not only how we should conduct ourselves with one another, but also with God.
There have been times when God hasn't answered prayers like I wanted or He doesn't do things as I think He should. I feel disappointed and at times have felt angry with Him.
When my mom passed away, I remember standing at the cemetery and having some women tell me, "You have to accept this as God's will, and can't get angry at God for allowing this to happen." I was hurting and I was angry that Mama hadn't been healed from cancer. But I held that inside for many years, and let it fester and grow. I wasn't necessarily angry with God all that time, but I did feel like I couldn't be open and honest with Him about my true feelings. It was only when I opened up my heart and spoke honestly to God about my feelings that I began to be healed from those wounds.
I realized that God is big enough to handle my anger. It didn't shock and surprise Him that I felt that way. It didn't lessen His love for me. He already knew what was in my heart. Nothing is hidden from God.
But during those occasions when I get angry with God or don't understand why He did or didn't do something, it's also my responsibility to not let the sun go down on my wrath. I can't stay angry with God. I can express my feelings, then I have to choose to forgive and choose to continue to love Him.
Being open and honest with God and others will strengthen that relationship. When I get upset with Jon, I will forgive and work at keeping our relationship rock solid, because he is important to me and I want our marriage to be strong. It's the same with God. Unconditional love requires us to let go of anger and forgive; even when we don't want to or feel like we're the ones who have been wronged.
Realize that anger is an emotional part of life. It's something that we all experience and feel. But the most important aspect of anger is not allowing it to lead us to sin. Getting rid of it quickly and forgiving is not only biblical, but it will assure us of a peaceful life and a clear conscious.
Almost any negative attitude can be consuming. Anger, hatred, fear, dread, self pity, greed: they can eat away at our lives. Again, the best weapon against them is to think on anything good, holy, and positive. Even if every other good thing seems impossible, please remember that those who are faithful, and who have accepted forgiveness from their sins will be welcomed into Heaven. Remember that Jesus knows you and understands whatever you are going through. He was a man for several decades, and knows what it is to be human and to hurt.
1 head cauliflower
1/3 cup sugar
1 bunch broccoli
1 cup Miracle Whip
1 small red onion, separated into rings
Salt and Pepper, to taste
¼ lb. Bacon, fried and crumbled
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
Separate cauliflower into flowerets, and cut into pieces. Chop broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Combine cauliflower, broccoli, onions, bacon and cheese in a serving dish. In a separate bowl, mix sugar and Miracle Whip together. Add to vegetable mixture; salt and pepper to taste; mix together. Refrigerate overnight.
One of my great-nieces, who is age 5, recently was eating ice cream and told her parents, "I'm putting it [the ice cream] in my heart so Jesus can eat it."
A soft word turns away wrath; but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
We hope that each of you are having an enjoyable summer. Ours has been busy thus far, but we've still managed to find some time to sit, relax and have some fun. Sometimes when life gets busy, it's those sporadic moments that you spend together and enjoy that means the most. We encourage you to make time for those special moments with your loved ones and make some memories this summer.
We love you!
Loretta & Jon