Your anger will not bring about a righteous life
Your anger will not bring about a righteous life in others
By Jon Walker
For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:20 (NIV)
Your anger will not bring about any long-term change in your wife, your husband, your friend, or your next-door neighbor (or even that obnoxious co-worker who’s always tying up the copy machine).
Believe it or not, the Holy Spirit is perfectly capable of leaning on others, convincing them to change their ways, to do the right thing. It takes faith to believe that.
If you’re like me, though, I keep assuming God needs my help; that a little anger on my part will bring about the “righteous life that God desires” (James 1:20 NIV).
But I have to confess that half—okay, maybe almost, close to all—of the time, my anger emerges from mixed motives (James 4:1–3). It’s self-righteous anger, or perhaps a better description is unrighteous anger. So my unrighteous behavior will not bring about godly, righteous living.
Truth says our anger will not get others to act, think, believe, or live like we want them to, or to act like a Jesus-one. Our anger may change their behavior in the short-run, but it doesn’t change what’s in their hearts.
What would bring about change in you—anger or love?
This doesn’t mean I’m suggesting we can’t get angry. In and of itself, anger is not a sin. It’s an emotion, and our capacity for emotions is a blessing from God. Jesus is clearly angry when he turns over the tables in the temple; yet, we know Jesus never sinned (John 2:12–25).
It’s the way we handle anger that leads to sin, so God teaches us anger management techniques that are extraordinarily simple and practical (which doesn’t mean they’re easy).
The first step in managing our anger is acknowledging that God, our Creator and Father, is in control (James 1:22–25).
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