Wednesday, May 18, 2011

{righteous anger}

This idea has been on my heart a lot lately.


More specifically, God's anger, and what that looks like. I think it's easy for a lot of us to look at God and see Him as loving, compassionate, merciful and gracious (don't get me wrong, He is all of those things), but He is also a just and jealous God.

We seek justice, daily. A person wrongs us and we want to pay them back. An unborn child doesn't make it to their day of birth, and we want immediate answers. Our boy/girlfriend or spouse resorts to cheating, and we want them to feel the pain that we felt.

All of these things, and more, cause us to seek justice. But that made me wonder..if we seek justice for these pains in our lives, imagine how God felt (and still feels) when we turn our backs on Him, wrong Him, sin blatantly against Him, or even deny Him.

Anger rises within us when justice isn't served. If we feel that our anger is justified, because the situation can't be, then God's anger is all the more righteous, and justified.

The problem is that our anger usually results in sin, whereas God's anger is rooted in His love for us. Picture this: A little boy is playing in his driveway, when his ball rolls into the street. He has been told over and over that he isn't allowed to go past the end of the driveway. As he looks around, he doesn't think that anyone is watching, so he runs into the street, grabs the ball, and on the way back to his driveway (thinking that no one has caught him), a car turns the corner and misses him by inches. The father, who watched the ordeal from the window, immediately runs outside, picks up the little boy and holds him in his arms. The anger that is produced is a kind whose roots are found in love. Of course he is angry that his son disobeyed, but it was because he loved his son that his anger surfaced. It was righteous anger.

Now, that story can be translated into God's own love for us. Here we are, running after work, relationships, money, etc., when all of a sudden those things slip away from us. We know that God has commanded that we shall have no other gods before Him, and that the things of this world won't satisfy. But because of our nature, we want to chase them. When we think that no one is looking, we run to catch the thing that has enticed us. And all of a sudden, something happens that jars us awake. All the while, God is watching us, and as soon as we are in a position that calls for the hand of God, He comes. In His love, He scoops us up, and shields us, but with that love comes righteous anger. An anger that says, I've warned you what would happen if you strayed from my commands; it's because I love that I'm angry with you.

We have wronged God in so many ways. A wrathful, revengeful anger should be expected, yet He doesn't produce it.

God is love, and in that, His anger is brought forth from a place that says, I understand.

Maybe today you feel as if you've wronged God and He's turned his back on you. Maybe you feel that you're being punished because you've somehow angered God. Let me be the first to tell you, that is not true. Even on our worst days God's grace is sufficient.

His anger is that of a father. A father who loves His child more than one could possibly imagine.

Is your anger causing you to sin? Or is your anger righteous?


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with love.