Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Abide With Me"1 (Lyrics)
One day, I was coming from church on a Sunday afternoon and the rain was falling. I tried to stop several taxis, but to no avail. Everyone was trying to find shelter from the rain, and no driver was ready to drive in that weather.
I tried to find cover somewhere, but the rain showed no sign of abating, and I was hungry, as it was a ritual for me not to eat on Sunday mornings. I decided to walk home, but as the rain increased, I became increasingly furious. I was mad at the taxi drivers, at myself, and at fellow members of the church, whose offer to board their vehicle I had refused, believing that I would get a taxi before the rain started falling!
Angry, hungry, and drenched, I began the long journey home. I passed a mentally unstable woman on the street as she cozied up in a little shelter from the rain, eating from the dumpster, and wearing rags. She did something strange — she greeted me. I answered before I realized that someone not mentally okay was speaking to me.
At that moment, the Spirit of God made me understand that I wasn't too different from the woman, because anger is madness and it creates and resonates with madness. She must have felt like she had seen a kindred spirit!
Friends, anger is madness. Solomon said that "anger lodges in the heart of fools." (Ecclesiastes 7:9b ESV) An angry man is no different from a mad man, because in the heat of anger there is no thought. An angry man:
- does not see reason;
- does not feel beyond his present overwhelming emotion; and
- takes actions beyond reasoning.
Genesis 49:5,7 – Simeon and Levi are brothers — their swords are weapons of violence. Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel. (NIV)
This passage shows how thoughtless Simeon and Levi were in their anger. They killed all the men of Shechem (Genesis 34) and incurred a curse on their generation.
Things that could make us angry will surely come. Even the Son of God Himself encountered such things when He was slapped and spat upon at the high priest's house before He was taken to the cross to be crucified, but He kept quiet.
Can we keep quiet in the face of intense provocation? Yes! How?
James 1:19 – So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. (NKJV)
That advice is surely the best antidote that the Bible gives for this destroyer of man.
Prayer: Lord, take away the root of anger from my life and put in me the fruit of gentleness, meekness, and long-suffering. Amen.