Updated: Nov 16, 2019
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” James 1:19-21 NIV
The Book of James concentrates on questions of daily living in God’s good creation. He considers such practical issues such as concern for the poor, responsible use of wealth, control of the tongue, purity of life, unit in the community of Christ-followers, and above all patience and endurance during the times of trial. Last week’s post focused on the trials and endurance while this week’s post will be based on that one human emotion that we all can relate to: anger. • Did you know that on this day, April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King was assassinated? • Did you know that anger is experienced in our bodies as well as in our minds? • Did you know that the inside your brain, neurotransmitter chemicals known as catecholamines are released causing you to experience a burst of energy lasting up to several minutes? • Did you know that in 2016, there were 2,570 black on black crime committed in the United States (lower than the white on white crime rate)
Where am I going with this? • When a young black boy is killed simply because he knocks on the wrong door, we’ve got to do better. • When a black woman is beat-up while calling for help, we’ve got to do better. • When a black woman is killed because her husband decided that today was not a good day for him, we’ve got to do better. • Or when a black man who works to build-up the people and the community gets killed because of an argument, we’ve got to do better. James wrote letters to various communities (12 tribes scattered among the nations) basically saying, “we’ve got to do better.” Yet, James knew the conditions of the communities and tried his best to warn them of the results of evil.
And how long ago was this?
Handling anger is an important life skill, don’t you think? Christian counselors report that 50 percent of people who come in for counseling have problems dealing with anger. Anger can shatter communication and tear apart relationships and it ruins the joy and health of many - we need to stop justifying our anger and accept responsibility for it! Remember, the Bible is not stating that we should not get angry. Anger is not always sin and there is a type of anger that the Bible approves, often called “righteous indignation.” It is acceptable for believers to get angry; it’s what we do with that anger that will hold us accountable. There are many examples of biblical anger, but we must remember that anger can become sinful when it is motivated by pride, when it is unproductive or when it’s allowed to linger. One sign that anger has turned to sin is when instead of attacking the problem, we attack the wrongdoer! How many times have we seen on social media, in our homes, in schools and businesses the violence produced by this very thing called anger? We’ve got to do better. As a widow, immediately after his death I became angry at God. Many of us are and it’s ok to be angry, sistas. And when we do, just do me a favor – attack the issue at hand. Y'all, we’ve got to do better.
FBI.gov NIV Bible GotQuestions.org MentalHelp.net BiblicalCounselingCoalition.org