Fighting The Incoming Tide of Anger
By Fin Sheridan
There’s a story of a king who once sat at the seashore and commanded the sea to not come in. Some legends portray this as arrogance; the king was trying to show his power and authority over the elements. Others portray him as proving a point about how powerless he was, compared to God. Either way, the king ended up with wet feet.
Perhaps you can relate; I have often felt angry and felt about as powerless to stop it as a king stopping the tide. Wave after wave, washing over me as I thrash, my frustration feeding off itself, as I spit words I regret. The rising, the boiling, the white hot feeling as it bubbles over.
We’re obviously not talking about righteous anger here; an anger at injustice or evil. We’re talking about James 1:20 anger: the wrath of man that doesn’t produce the righteousness of God. When I reflect on the times I get angry, it’s often out of a desire to produce or control. I want things a certain way or I want a certain result. However, what we sow, we will also reap. Just like sowing acorns does not produce banana trees, sowing anger will never produce righteousness.
“When I reflect on the times I get angry, it’s often out of a desire to produce or control.”
On the subject of sowing and fruit, there is good news. Anger is not a fruit of the Spirit (stay tuned for more brilliant insights). Self control, patience, gentleness and peace, however, are. These things are the very opposite of anger. Anger then, is a fruit produced when you and I are not ‘in step with the Spirit’. Our desire for control, our unprocessed pain, our pride and selfishness produce anger. When we submit and surrender to the Holy Spirit and ask him to form Christ’s character in our lives, we begin to produce his fruit instead. This is a supernatural work – by the one that even ‘the waves obey’!
We’ve put together a video series, called HUMAN, to help you as you journey through some of the more difficult parts of life. Each video has a creative element and then some reflections from some of the CBN Europe team, encouraging you with what God’s word says and how he wants to meet us in our suffering. Check out the video on Anger below!