What makes you angry? Is it the television commercials that have overtaken your favorite show? Is it getting cutoff in traffic? Is it getting 9 pieces of chicken, instead of 10, in your 10 piece Chicken McNugget? I mean, seriously, how hard is it to place 10 nuggets in a box? Not 8! Not 9! But 10! I digress. Whatever it is that makes your blood boil. Whatever it is that pushes your buttons. Whatever it is that makes you grit your teeth, it compares in minute amounts to the anger that God feels when we sin against him. Even when that sin is getting angry. In the book of James, specifically 1:19-20, we read, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
As Christian’s, are we quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger? In other words, do we listen to someone else’s problems? Or, would we rather voice OUR problems?
As Christian’s, are we slow to speak, instead voting to hear? Do we think about the words we are about to speak and how those words might be perceived? Or, do we constantly put our foot in our mouth? Do those things we say in passing offend others? Do we push others away from god with our words, rather than drawing them closer? Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Do we speak words of encouragement or do we speak words of discouragement?
As Christian’s, are we slow to anger? In other words, does it take a lot to make us angry? Or, do we let simple things overcome us with anger? Instead of dwelling on our anger, do we forgive and forget?
Notice the words in verse 20, within the given scripture, “for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” When we get angry in public, do others see it? When they do see us overcome with anger, do they see the righteousness of God within you? Or, do they see a person who is distracted by worldly problems and not focused on the eternal goal?
The fact of the matter is, we are going to get angry. You are going to have your buttons pushed at some point in your life. Everyone has experienced it. Everyone will continue to experience it. However, the manner in which we handle that anger, or channel that anger, is the deciding factor for which we are judged.