God's Righteous Purpose
Remember this, my dear friends! Everyone must be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry. Human anger does not achieve God’s righteous purpose. James 1:19–20 GNT
What a profound statement. Human anger does not achieve God’s righteous purpose. Yet so very often this is exactly our justification for our outrage. When there has been an injustice of some kind, we want it righted. But anger will never be the solution to any righteous cause. God does not use the vehicle of our rage to serve His purposes.
The truth is, we often try to use our rage to serve our own purposes. We mistakenly think it will protect, provide, guide, and empower us. Instead it turns on us and attacks, robs, misleads, and isolates us.
God wants His daughters to be passionate and powerful! But if you are not constructive with your anger—if you turn it in on yourself or lash out at those around you—you will lose your passion and become depressed or oppressed. Freedom is found when we operate within God’s life-giving instructions so that His righteous purpose can be achieved. Then we can live life without regret or fear, and without dragging along the chains of our past.
Are you quick to listen and slow to speech and anger? Or does anger keep you from partnering with God’s purpose?
Identify a recent situation where you were quick to become angry. There may have been an external outburst, or the flare-up may have been only in your mind and heart. Whichever is the case, ask the Holy Spirit to show you how you could have responded with grace and righteousness.
There is no need to feel shame—repent and release your wrongdoing to your merciful Father. If it is appropriate, ask the forgiveness of the person at whom your anger was directed. Then, turn to God in humility and ask for wisdom and grace so your future responses can be different. He is faithful to transform us!
Adapted from Be Angry But Don’t Blow It: Maintaining Your Passion Without Losing Your Cool (Thomas Nelson, 2000).