Have you ever been mad? I'm talking blow-a-FUSE furious? How about just a little ticked off? Frustrated? Moderately agitated? Irked? Fuming? There are hundreds of synonyms in any random thesaurus that describe this human emotion. Anger. Gotta love it. However, I have a thought question for you. Have you ever thought, I mean really thought, about WHY you get angry? I'm not talking about what your brother or sister did to your carpet, or what your best friend said about you behind you back, or what that one person did to you that one time at that party a while back, or whatever your circumstance. I'm talking about your motivation. Have an answer yet? I do. Frankly, whatever your reason or excuse, you got mad because things didn't go your way. A person did something or something happened and it wasn't how you wanted that particular thing to turn out. I want you to think about what I just said (or typed) because I don't want you to get mad at what I'm saying. I want you to really dig deep, because that's the whole point of this blog. To provoke you to be the best person that you can be for the Lord. OUR Lord.
Your brother or sister messed up that carpet, and you didn't WANT that carpet messed up. So you get mad, because that messed up carpet wasn't in your plans. Now you have to spend money to fix it, but you don't want to spend YOUR money. That money was going to that new Ab-chair work out thing you wanted. So that you could have nice abs, so that people would think you're pretty. (or handsome, for you men out there.) Your best friend said something mean about you and you didn't WANT that to be spread about you, so you get mad. Sure, they shouldn't have said anything but it's either true or not true. If it was true, you should never have done that thing in the first place. If it's NOT true, then you're being vain because you don't want your reputation messed up. For whatever the reason, you are mad because whatever it was that happened wasn't on your agenda for the day. You forget, that it was in GOD'S agenda. That person did that thing at that place and that's not how you wanted it. It's all about YOU. Y-O-U. You, you, you, you, you. It should be about God. Am I judging or hating on you? Nope, absolutely not. I do it all the time. I'm just trying to bring a NEW area of understanding into our idea of selfish. Besides the fact that 1 Corinthians says that love is slow to anger, it also says that love is never selfish. Ouch. That hits pretty hard. In order to obey God fully we need to examine our motivations.
I should probably add that there is one kind of anger that is not selfish. I'm sure you are sitting here thinking Wait...Didn't JESUS get mad? I thought He never sinned....I'm confused. Jesus got angry at the mistreatment of the House of God. That was definitely not selfish, because it was entirely for something else, and not for his own selfish gain. Jesus never sinned and I want to make sure you don't mistake my meaning. Just like if someone got angry because someone else was being hurt or teased, so did Jesus get upset for the Temple being used for the selfish ambition of merchants. Just thought I'd clarify...
These motivations are not necessarily limited to just anger. In every aspect of our lives, there are issues and struggles with where our priorities lie. Well, it's something I struggle with, but I'm not you. Every day, I wake up and the first thing I want to do is get on facebook. I want to make sure I'm hip and cool, or have posted the funniest status so that everyone will laugh and think I'm funny. I'm about to go to the gym or to work and I make sure my hair and make-up look good in case there are any cute guys. It just comes down to what we consider important, where we rank these important things, and what happens when these things don't go our way. We sulk, pout, whine, and get mad because we can't have our way. I don't know about you, but that makes me mad, because that's not what I want. I WANT to be an obedient child of the King that delights in Him and doesn't think of myself constantly. Asking God for help when it comes to things I struggle with is a comfort to me. Maybe you should try it!
A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.