Americans are angry. I probably don’t need to tell you that, because anger is everywhere these days. From angry Facebook posts and comments to irate news reporters, it’s almost impossible to get through the day without encountering anger in some form. Results of a study done in by Gallup in 2018 showed that 1 in 5 Americans feel anger a lot. More alarmingly, 55% of Americans felt significant stress every day, and that figure was a full 20 points higher than the average stress levels felt in the rest of the world. I would be willing to bet that in our current political and social atmosphere those numbers have risen. We are one of the angriest, stressed out nations on earth.
Anger in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, just as dynamite, in and of itself, isn’t dangerous. It’s what you do with that anger that distinguishes it. Once you light that fuse and let it fizzle, anger, just like dynamite, can blow up and not only hurt you but everyone around you.
In Ephesians 4:26, Paul tells us that we can be angry, but we are not to sin in that anger. Paul recognizes that we are human and prone to emotion and one of those emotions is anger. Anger can also be righteous; the bible is full of examples of God’s righteous anger and we can see an example of Jesus’s righteous anger when he cleansed the temple in John 2:13-16. Righteous anger is the anger of the American Revolution and the civil rights movement. Righteous anger seeks to end sin and inequality. Righteous anger rages against anything that defies the love of God.
Today I have one very important question for you: Do you manage your anger, or does your anger manage you? What is your response when you read an opinion on Facebook that you don’t agree with? Do you voice your grievances, engage in comment arguments, and hold on, stubborn and angry, because you won’t be happy until everyone agrees with you? Have you ever made a social media post, direct or otherwise, expressing your anger at a person, group, or establishment? It’s easy to be angry on social media because we don’t have to deal with the consequences of our actions directly – words on a screen are a lot easier to deal with than words spoken in conversation. But those words reflect directly on you, and by association, on your Christian faith. Are you using your anger in a manner that is righteous or in a manner that is destructive? Could your words hurt someone? If so, why are you voicing them?
I often issue challenges in my articles and today isn’t any different. Today’s challenge, however, might be the most difficult one that I’ve ever issued, at least for some of you. The next time you read a post on social media (or on the news, or wherever) that angers you, move on without posting a thing. Practice humility and meekness. After you’ve walked away, ask yourself what it was about that particular post that made you so angry. If you don’t know, pray about it. Ask God to help you understand, manage, and let go of your anger. If your anger comes from a place of true righteousness, ask God for constructive and positive ways that you can combat whatever injustice is grieving you. If anger is a true problem for you, if you find that you are always angry and cannot seem to shake it, I urge you to consider speaking with a counselor for ways to manage and deal with your anger.
I’d like to end with a quote from the writer Nathan Millican: “Jesus died so that I am no longer a slave to anger but can stand against it. Anger controls and masters us. It promises power and control but delivers slavery. In Jesus’ death I, too, died to the taskmaster of anger. I have gone from being a slave to being a child freed in order to live for the Father. In this freedom, I can say “no” to anger.”
Until I see you again,
IN PERSON SERVICES AND LIVE STREAM
Worship Services – 9:00 AM and 10:45 AM
We now have in-person worship services at our 913 West 5th Street, Marysville, Ohio location. Our first service is at 9:00 AM, the second service at 10:45 AM. Everyone is welcome to join us!
Here are the guidelines for the first phase (May 31st – June 28th):
- Greet enthusiastically (BUT without handshakes and hugs)
- 9:00 AM service – mandatory masks
- 10:45 service – masks optional
- 6′ social distancing required while in church facility
- 3 chairs between families in the sanctuary
- Children and youth are included in SANCTUARY SERVICE
- Announcements are available online and in our morning slideshow
- The nursery, while not staffed, is open for use
Our Live Stream will be at 9:00 AM
For those who are not yet ready to return, no worries! Our 9:00 AM service will be live streamed at the YouTube link below (link provided by Saturday noon). We would love to have you join us for our service from your living room! Please let us know that you are present!