Bible Ballistics: BBs #395 Why Is Everybody Angry???
Why do we see so much anger around us? Who ever heard of ‘road rage’ 30 years ago? So were people not angry then? Of course we know that anger has been around for a long time, but it seems to be increasing exponentially today—but why? Let’s consider anger, and examine our own hearts to see if we are a part of the problem or a part of the solution? The first account of anger and its worst-case outcome is found in Genesis.
“And in process of time it came to pass,
that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground
an offering unto the LORD.
4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings
of his flock and of the fat thereof.
And the LORD had respect
unto Abel and to his offering:
5 But unto Cain and to his offering
he had not respect.
And Cain was very wroth,
and his countenance fell.
6 And the LORD said unto Cain,
Why art thou wroth?
and why is thy countenance fallen?
7 If thou doest well,
shalt thou not be accepted?
and if thou doest not well,
sin lieth at the door.
And unto thee shall be
and thou shalt rule over him.
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother:
and it came to pass,
when they were in the field,
that Cain rose up against Abel
and slew him.” Genesis 4:3-8
If I might presume to summarize (for the sake of time and space); after Adam and Eve chose to sin and God put them out of Eden, their first two sons grew into adulthood and brought offerings unto The Lord God—Abel brought a blood sacrifice (as Genesis 3 implies that they were instructed to do) to God, and Cain brought of his produce. Simply put, Abel came to God, God’s way, and Cain decided to come his own way—and because of the sin in his heart (self-righteousness) Cain’s offering wasn’t pleasing to God. When God spoke to Cain, He made it clear that Cain had a sin problem, and if he didn’t take care of it, it would take ‘care’ of him. And it did! In rejecting God’s call to repentance and obedience in faith, Cain found himself overcome by sin and his anger boiled over, resulting in the murder of Abel. Why? All because of Cain’s own sin, and refusal to repent—not because of any wrong that Able had done. Jesus addressed this same principle in his conversation with Nicodemus.
“For God sent not his Son
into the world
to condemn the world;
but that the world through him
might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him
is not condemned:
but he that believeth not
is condemned already,
because he hath not believed
in the name of the only begotten
Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation,
that light is come into the world,
and men loved darkness
rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.” John 3:16-19
Do you catch it?
“men loved darkness
rather than light,
because their deeds were evil”!
Just as Cain chose to cling to his own sin, men, women, boys and girls are making the same choice today! The only difference is that we have the multiplied affect of generations of continued sin! Sin is rampant, and sin unchecked by Jesus, will increase anger; for sin focuses on “ME”, “SELF” and “Immediacy”– getting what I want when I want it; regardless of the fact that we live and interact with others daily. We can choose to live with patience, courtesy, and kindness or we can live selfishly regarding only self. When we demand our own way and don’t get it immediately, then anger can take over. Unfulfilled expectations (real or imagined) can cause uncontrolled rage. We must recognize the danger in our own lives, and make right choices. We who follow Jesus are to live differently, keeping our eyes on HIM, and walking in submission and obedience to Him!
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin which doth so easily beset us,
and let us run with patience
the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus
the author and finisher
of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand
of the throne of God.
3 For consider him
that endured such contradiction
lest ye be wearied
and faint in your minds.” Hebrews 12:1-3
The best deterrent to uncontrolled anger, is to trust Jesus in all that we face! By fixing out eyes on Him, keeping our focus on HIM, and not ME, we will be empowered to:
“…..Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16b
The bottom line is this, we must choose to trust God with our lives, or we may find ourselves demanding that things go our own way, now! It isn’t the anger that is the sin, but anger that is out of control. Anger is simply an emotion; we must control our emotions or they will control us.
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27
If we will “walk in the Spirit”, we will find the power to control our emotions—all of them, both the legitimate ones as well as the illegitimate ones; asking God to help us be angry at the right things, at the right time, for the right reasons, and to ever respond in the right way. So let’s check anger? Is it righteous indignation, or are we allowing “rage” to take over and giving glory to “the devil” rather than our Lord. May we ever reflect the character of our Lord, not the angry masses! The bottom line is, “Do I trust God with the ‘now’?” We can have the same confidence that Job had! How about you? Confidence diffuses anger!!!
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” Job 13:15