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Friday, February 09, 2007

The Heart of Anger

For me to work on a change in my life I need to see the primary motivational link to becoming more like Jesus. To see the end in mind. I need to feel confident that the change I am embarking on will in the end glorify God. When it comes to changing personal behaviors I have learned to look (first) at the relationship between what goes on in my heart compared to God's Sovereignty and perfect Holiness. I always find a fight between my will and God's perfect will. I want Holiness and Christ likeness in my life. I want it! But I see a battle between who gets to orchestrate my growth in Christ. Does God have total control or do I believe I can add to what God has planned? The battle imitates the original rebellion in the garden. What it comes down to it, what rages on is a heart struggle to be god myself. So I take this understanding and apply it to my growing understanding of the anger in my heart.

Anger can be found I believe by asking a simple question: "What are my personal needs and where have they been unmet". Why this question? Because the answer will give a glimpse into the heart by calling for a judgment response. This simple question seems to call for a judgment about right and wrong. Here is where anger begins in the heart I believe. Anger may come about because of a legitimate wrong done to me or someone else. In this sense anger seems to imitate God by making judgments about right and wrong. This is where I really need to be an expert of my own heart because anger can quickly turn into anger against God. In other words, anger over God's glory being violated can easily turn into anger over my own rights (and glory) being violated.

When anger becomes an issue of my own needs not being met then anger reveals more about my own heart than about another person or circumstance. Anger becomes an issue between me and God.

In the end, anger is about spiritual allegiances. Who will I trust? An effective case study of this truth can be found in the story of Israel's journey in the desert (Exodus 16-17). The truth is best summarized by Exodus 18:8, "You are not grumbling against us,' Moses replied, 'but against the Lord'"

1 comment:

ron said...

There is very little righteous human anger. Invariably, when we feel angry it is almost always a self-centered anger, or an idolatrous anger.

If it is deemed to be righteous anger we need to be very careful of where we go with it.

You are correct Pat. No matter what we need to make sure we do not convert anger towards God, and that takes a good understanding of own own sinful tendencies.