A Prayer for the Angry

VICAR

Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine, I trust that You are well and healthy. I write this as the snow falls. Be careful out there.

This week I would like You to consider the angry. All of us know angry people. There are a few around here. One fellow in his fifties spends all his days on his computer then stomps around the village in his Dr Martens not responding to greetings, nor ever saying hello. Anger makes people rude. One day he will realise that he is no island.

Jesus grew angry when the people used God’s temple for personal profit (Matthew 21:12-13), as well as when they cared more about themselves than healing a suffering man on the Sabbath (Mark 3:5).

Made in God’s image, we are designed to feel and, naturally, get angry too. But there is sinful anger and righteous anger—and a strong difference between the two. Righteous anger typically comes when we see a situation that goes against the will and commands of God—sins such as abuse and other deep injustice. This anger develops because we are in alignment with God and are outraged at such blatant violations of His ways. It’s a justifiable outrage, and our reaction spurs us either to stop the evil directly or steer our emotions to work alongside other Christians who also seek to end this sin.

But sinful anger is a far different animal, stemming not from a place of alignment with God but rather a barrier to the Lord. We might grow angry because of pride, or we begin to enjoy the anger and let it remain and take root in our hearts. We allow it to grow and fester like a wound, and it eventually becomes a hindrance to our united relationship with God, for our energies are focused on the anger rather than God and what we can do to glorify Him.

This week I would like You to consider Your own anger. How do You manage it? How should You control it? What bad effects does it have on Your family, co-workers and friends?

Have a peaceful Sunday and a good week ahead. God Bless You all. Please stay well and look forward to the springtime and summer.

Lord, You are all-powerful and almighty. You created the sun and the stars, the seas and the heavens above, the earth and all creatures upon it—the very universe and time itself. Who then are we to stand in Your way and let our tiny flares of rage ignite?  Help us to step back and allow You and only You to reign supreme. Help us to know and take comfort that You will dole out Your holy wrath justly and completely.

Amen