This week Jeff continued our series in Proverbs by focusing on the topic of anger and wrath. Proverbs has lots to say about the issue: wrath stirs up strife; angry people want other people to be angry. When anger starts it’s like a dam thats breaking – its hard to stop. Anger is addictive and tends to go viral so Proverbs advises us to avoid angry people lest we learn their ways and become like them. Anger is destructive. Anger is progressive. Anger leads to alienation. At the same time Proverbs tells us that anger isn’t prohibited, but that we should be “slow to anger” and that it’s “good sense” that makes us slow to get angry. The takeaway is this: anger in and of itself is not bad but being foolish and rash is. It’s possible to control our anger and we should.
So where does anger come from? Most anger in our culture stems simply from inconvenience. We think what we have going on is far more important than anything that anyone else has going on. We want to have control of our lives and we think that life is about us and our story and when someone else fails to realize that we get angry. That’s the wrong kind of anger.
The right kind of anger might be called “righteous anger” and this can be both impersonal and personal. From an impersonal perspective, we get angry about extreme injustice in the world. Children get abused and killed. Teenage girls are trafficked for sex. God hates these things and it’s understandable that we would be angry about them. But this is different than being angry because we have lost control of something trivial; we never had control of something like this. It’s hard to know why these things happen, but we have to remember that God is ultimately good and is in complete control. This should lead to prayer, to trust in God and to long for Jesus’ return to put an end to these things. From a personal perspective, we get angry when we have been wronged, lied to, cheated on, abused. etc. We feel like it’s our right to get and stay angry about these things but ultimately God calls us to forgive.
Ultimately, we should be slow to anger and quick to forgive because that’s how God is. We were enemies of God and he withheld is anger and forgave us. If anyone had a right to be angry, it was Jesus. But he gave up that right and came down here to be poor, to be dirty, to be hungry, to be ignored, to be dismissed, to be rejected, to be beaten, to be spit on, to be nailed to a cross, to take our sin upon him, to be rejected by his Father, and to die. For us.
Band for the week was:
- Jake Taylor – guitar + vox
- Patrick Downing – guitar + vox
- John Bass – bass
- Brent Francese – drums
- Kendal Quinn – cello + perc
Setlist for the week was:
- Exalted One
- 10,000 Reasons
- Lord, I Need You
- Give Me Faith