The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
There are few emotions as dangerous as anger. It can quickly consume. Trying to contain it is like trying to hold on to water—it’s bound to seep through the cracks of your interactions throughout the day. It’s as engrossing as fire, fast to grow and tough to slow. It hides itself in bitterness, frustration, and being passive-aggressive. It leads to shallow relationships—staying on the surface because of what’s hidden underneath. Maybe it’s not a person you’re mad at, but at God for not changing your situation. Whatever the case, whether you’ve been angry at your parents for never showing up, or frustrated with a friend who takes jokes too far, we know what it means to be angry, and this anger demands to be dealt with.
The primary danger of anger is its ability to hinder the receiving of God’s grace. Anger is a roadblock to forgiveness in your own life. Consider Christ, who had every right to display anger towards you as His rebelling Creation, yet refrained. Rather, He embraced the anger of the Father, that you might have His smile. He was hated, so you could be loved. He was crushed, so you could have peace. He was condemned, so you could be forgiven. This grace is freely offered, but only yours if you will take it. It’s impossible to cling to the grace of God if your heart is holding onto anger.
Jesus says to leave your gift on the altar and make up with your friend. He knows true worship is not possible when anger consumes your heart. Let Christ’s forgiveness towards you win you away from your anger towards others. Let His love reach the furthest crevices of your soul, like water finds the deepest cracks. Give Jesus your anger. Let him take care of your situation on the cross or in the coming justice. He’s merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He wants to commune with you. Today, contemplate the fact that you are forgiven. As one who knows grace, show grace.
What are some of the ways anger hides itself in your life?
How does dwelling on God’s grace towards you influence your anger towards others?
What relationships in your life are suffering because of your attempt to hide anger?