Farm Wife Devotions: Anger - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
The first Farm Wife Devotion on anger can be read here.
Recently, I was scrolling through a Facebook group specifically for women in ag and one of the members who was also a part of the LGBTQA community was reaching out to find other women on the page who were part of the LGBTQA community. Unfortunately, some of the women spoke strongly against her, belittled her and began to preach to her. Not more than 24hrs rolled by and there was a non-religious post asking if there were others like her in the group. Some of the comments below this post began to mock the Christian faith and relationship with Christ and they began to ask those who posted asking for prayer in the group to create a different group just for Christians and prayer. The theme for comments under posts like this often appear to be and taken as “bait” to see if members will become angry and start spewing at them. The commenters doing the “baiting” then point fingers and say, “well you got mad about this and you are judging me”.
No matter what the situation and no matter where, we are still called to keep our anger in check.
The Vines Dictionary defines anger this way: (noun) Originally any natural impulse, or desire, or disposition, came to signify "anger," as the strongest of all passions. It is used of the wrath of man, the displeasure of human governments. (verb) To provoke, to arouse to anger. To be enraged.
Another definition is: Anger- an excitement or agitation of mind, of more or less violence, produced by the reception of a real or supposed injury, and attended commonly with a desire or purpose of revenge.
The definition of the Greek word for anger is: personal irritation or exasperation.
The verse above says, “in your anger do not sin”. This means having the right composure and an attitude of the heart. Christians need a heart that is not easily offended against people who make you angry. We have to continue to take everything back to the cross. We have a choice in how we choose to respond. God gave us feelings and thus He also gave us the feeling of anger.
Although anger is one of the harder emotions to control there is a time when anger can be achieved without sin.
Jesus demonstrated this during this time on earth. Mark 3:5 "He looked around at them in anger and deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "stretch out your hand." He stretched it out and his hand was completely restored.” Jesus was angry but yet he did not rebuke, chide, or try to punish the Pharisees. Our sudden excitement to anger because of a horse biting us, a woman saying rude and hurtful things toward Christianity, feelings of rejection, etc. can bring on a sudden passion in the mind to defend ourselves when we are attacked. When that excitement or passion comes boiling up, it is difficult to “think before we speak”. Self-protection comes into play and when that happens and the feelings of anger are preserved, it becomes sinful or revengeful- which is always wrong.
Anger: The details
When I was preparing to write this devotional I found some different resources with Biblical information on anger. This is some of the information I found in commentaries from "The Biblical Illustrator" and Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible.
Anger is sinful for the following: When we do not have sufficient cause If it surpasses the necessity of immediate self-protection, if there should be any required. When it is against the person rather than the offense. When we are desiring revenge- Romans 12:17 and Romans 12:19. When it is held, cherished and coddled. When our anger is excited by the wrongs done by another, which is where it terminates the person rather than the offence and becomes evil.
Unjust anger is wrong: Excessive anger is just as wrong and just as sinful and unjust Personal anger is always attached to sin - this is the case most of the time when we are angry *We are angry with the person vs the deed that has been done Selfish anger is always suspected of sin
Anger within due bounds: Commotion of the spirit - this is necessary to stir up a person's desire to see a wrong rectified. There is hatred toward the sin but not at the person, whether it be our own sin or the sin of others. This is called "indignation" and even though this type of anger is “ok” and demonstrated by Jesus we still must ensure that it does not become excessive. There is grief in it (Mark 3:5) and this naturally follows hatred of the deed or thing. A desire to vindicate the right and honor of the party injured.
Do not allow your anger to give the devil a foothold: The devil is both our accuser and our tempter. Both are achieved and used against us by sinful anger. He is able to hold a charge against us because we are both condemned and justified by our words. He is able to tempt us into anger. We give him a foothold when we allow him to tempt us into anger. If we allow this to happen, it will condemn us to hell.
Godlike anger: Is sinless, it is holy. He is never angry on His own account or for an injury against him. It is opposed to His nature and will. It does not touch His essential glory and blessedness. Is short. God only takes a moment to be angry, so a day is more than enough for us to be angry. His wrath is for a moment, so ours should end in a day.
What we should and should not do with anger: We are not to sleep upon anger or harbor for revenge. Wishing for ill-will against a person is unjust and it is a sin. If anger is unavoidable do not let it become sin, do not allow it to leap over its proper bounds; do not cherish it; do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, instead let the rays of the sun as it sets bring peace and comfort to you.
Anger is to be used with extreme caution and should be reconciled before the next day. Sunset was when the Jewish day began, so putting the sin away before the next day began. Reconcile with the person with which you are angry, because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
Do not allow this anger at another's sin to breed into hatred, contempt, or revenge.
Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar situation as mine, where you are scanning Facebook and someone’s comments or action bring up feelings of anger. Just remember that it is God’s place to judge that person’s actions. We don’t have to “like” or approve of that person’s choices, but we can still “hate the sin” and love the person in spite of their actions. My momma has demonstrated this and has always told me when I mess up “Mallory I will always love you. I just don’t always have to like you or the choices you have made.”
I challenge you today to respond in love rather than anger!
Are feelings of anger a challenge for you? Do you strive for God-like anger, when this feeling arises?
Today’s Farm Wife Devotion was written and shared with us by Mallory Dougherty a fellow rural sister in agriculture! Thank you so much Mallory for sharing what you learned about anger.
To read last week’s Farm Wife Devotion please click here!
As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts and how a post has touched your heart! Please feel free to comment below and share the post so that others are encouraged too!
Mallory Dougherty grew up moving around Kansas as her family worked for a few different ranches in the western side of the state. Her grandparents raise cattle and do custom haying. She grew up on the rodeo and cattle showing circuits. She recently married in February 2016. She and her husband have a 5 year old son and a little girl on the way. They live in Montana, where her husband works for a local ranch. They have every intention to start their own herd of registered and showing cattle. Mallory has been in the military for 10 years now, working with the Chinook helicopters. Her faith has been her rock throughout the years. Without it she would not be where she is. She hopes to provide inspiration and guidance to her fellow sisters in Christ, by sharing the things God has laid on her heart!