September 25, 2023
When You Feel So Mad You Want To Roar
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“The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 103:8 (ESV)
Do you struggle with anger?
I grew up in a home rife with anger, and I promised myself that when I became a parent, I would always be patient and calm.
And then I became a parent. Oof. Nothing is more humbling than watching yourself do the very thing you promised yourself you’d never do.
Over the past 10 years, I’ve struggled to be a calm parent. I can feel my blood pressure rise when my kids argue over whose turn it is to play with a favorite toy, who got the biggest serving of pie, or who gets to sit in mommy’s lap during story time.
“Just keep your voices down!” I’ve sometimes said … with a notably raised voice. My hypocrisy is plain for all to see.
My mommy friends pat me on the shoulder and reassure me I’m not the only one, which I appreciate, though sometimes it feels like little consolation to think that everyone else struggles with anger too. It’s not just parents (and our kids). It seems the whole world has become angry.
Our culture has become louder and angrier over the past few years: Whether on the news or behind the pulpit, angry voices tend to command our attention, and caustic tones seem to win the argument.
But is anger the way of Jesus?
A few years ago, when I was reading through the Gospels and the book of 1 Corinthians to uncover the love of Jesus, I realized how beautifully Jesus embodies the truth that love “is not easily angered” (1 Corinthians 13:5, NIV).
When Jesus took on human flesh, He experienced the full spectrum of human emotion, including anger. But His anger was righteous, always targeted toward those who abused and misused the weak and innocent. Jesus was indignant toward the disciples who blocked children from reaching Him (Mark 10:13-16); He toppled the tables of the temple merchants who overcharged for sacrifices, making it difficult for people to worship God (Matthew 21:12-17). Jesus’ anger mirrored the Father’s anger: a powerful emotion born of love and tenderness toward those He created.
One psalmist explains, “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Psalm 103:8). Our heavenly Father does not yell at us when we forget to read our Bibles; He does not lash out or lose control even when we disobey Him. He is merciful and gracious. And when He does become angry throughout the Bible, it’s always a reflection of His love for what is good and His righteous opposition to what is evil.
In contrast, our own anger often arises out of selfishness, pride and impatience. We lash out at those who inconvenience us (like the driver who cuts us off in traffic) or those who contradict us (like neighbors whose political views are different than ours). And sadly, we often act in harsh ways when anger controls us, leading to many regrets.
But Jesus is not easily angered because, at His core, Jesus is love. And as the very embodiment of God with us, Jesus has shown us the Father’s heart (1 John 4:8).
When we feel our blood pressure rise, let us be quick to remember God’s own patient love toward us. And let us run to Jesus, our heavenly Advocate, and ask for His patient love to calm our angry hearts.
Lord, thank You that You do not treat us as our sins deserve; rather, You shower us with grace and compassion in Christ Jesus. We confess that we are quick to become angry, often out of our own selfishness and pride. Forgive us, and shape our hearts with Your own mercy and love as we respond to others today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Want to study more about how Jesus lived out 1 Corinthians 13 in the Gospels? Pick up a copy of Asheritah Ciuciu’s book Uncovering the Love of Jesus, a 40-day devotional that reveals Jesus’ deep love in His personal interactions and His deep love toward you as well. Reflect, engage and be transformed as you uncover the love of Jesus and learn to love your neighbor as He does. Get your copy here today!
Want a practical way to process your anger with God? Listen to this 10-minute guided prayer to help you get honest with God about your anger, and receive His perfect peace to bring your heart to rest.
And if you need a little extra help getting in God’s Word every day, you can get Asheritah’s premium Quiet Time for Busy Women six-week e-course for FREE when you sign up here. It’s her gift to our community this week.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Ephesians 4:26-27, “‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” (NIV).
As you reflect on your own life, what makes you angry most often? Is it personal offense or righteous anger on behalf of others?
Today, when you find yourself getting irritated, how might you remember to process your anger with God? Share your ideas in the comments.
© 2023 by Asheritah Ciuciu. All rights reserved.
Originally published Monday, 25 September 2023.