What About Anger?
I want to thank you for your talk at the conference on jealously. It got me thinking about my 'anger', which is the one emotion that has, in the past had controlled me (in mis-use by my former master).
And I've been thinking about this for a while in light of what you spoke about. I was an angry child from age 3, rageful would be more appropriate. And anger lived in my father and grandfather and also my brother. One year after I was saved, the Lord brought a lot of messages to me about my anger and I went for counselling with my pastor. We used a book, which used a lot of scriptures on anger and worked through that book. I learned early on that anger, in and by itself, was just an emotion, like any other (neutral). And I looked up a lot of scriptures when God said he was angry, but most often, compassion and mercy followed. Of course, the scripture 'in your anger, do not sin' is the definitive scripture or 'command'.
When I began taking Ken’s course, and began going through Dan Stone's book, one thing he said was not to confess unless Holy Sprit prompted you. And I took that to heart. And I left it up to God to do the convicting.
Now, I still get angry, now and then. Most of the time it's with my closest people, my husband, brother. And it's something that wells up in me now and again (mostly when I'm anxious, or, of course, when my 'buttons' are pushed). And I tend to yell as well.
I guess my question or dilemma about all I've said above, is, is it OK to be angry? How do I know that it is righteous anger (Christ in me using that anger for His purpose) as opposed to unrighteous anger and/or sin? Or have I already answered the question. When the Holy Spirit convicts me of it?
I guess that because anger so controlled my very being for so long with much negative consequences, how can I look at 'my' anger just like any other emotion, in a sort of dispassionate way? Or see that this emotion of anger is something that God uses for His good purpose, when sometimes all I see is a foray back into the past? I know that my anger is Christ's anger, it has to be, because He's the one who chose to unite himself to me, anger and all. But there is this nagging feeling that somehow I still 'must' control it, which, of course, I know is a lie, the lie of separation or the independent self.
I'm hoping you can give me some clue to this or can add clarity to this. I really would appreciate it.
Great question and one that everyone eventually comes to. It is a real work and gift of the Spirit when the full answer comes in you. The God of this universe created the personality trait of anger in you, just as He did jealousy in me, and then spent many years and many ways through circumstances and people to well TRAIN it into you.
Now if He spent that much time and effort it seems to me that the greatest gift of thanks we can give to Him is to accept it as the rightness of our self. Now the question is, “Why”? and the answer is to call our attention through the negative or positive to a person or situation in order that we may speak a word of faith, pray believing and interact with them.
Your spontaneity is NEVER sin. PERIOD. In that, you are just being you…the very best “you” you can be!
Sin is a person just as righteousness is a Person. At our new birth we became DEAD to sin and alive to righteousness the expression of the Righteous One. After we are born-again, to commit sins we must consciously choose to go against what God would have us do and be.
At new birth we are joined to the Lord in union, but because the grave clothes of a separated consciousness remain with us, we think that there is still much wrong with us and we strive to “be like Jesus”. We have an idea of what God expects of and from us that is not true. In His patience through years of “the classroom of trying” He finally brings us to our Romans 7 experience ”that which I do, I don’t want to do and that which I want to do, I cannot who will deliver me from this body of sin and death?”
When we see that Someone HAS delivered us and there is NOW no condemnation and that we are free from that old law, we begin to accept our personhood. Accepting the positive side of ourselves is a breeze, but accepting the negative is still to come. We confess Christ as us, but still leave room for sin until the final battle, Armageddon, comes of “losing our life to find it”…not losing our personhood/humanity, but losing the consciousness of ANY life in us apart from Him.
Scripture says that we are dead to sin/sins (Ro. 6:2, 7, 11; I Pet. 2:24). If I agree with scripture, then I must step back and re-look at what I thought was true…… “If it is TRUE that I am dead to sin, then what must I now say about ______?” This includes what I previously thought were sins and what it now takes for me to commit sins. The reality of our rightness at every level slowly begins to become “ours”. Norman used to say we become “fixed” in it.
We do not die to sin…we are DEAD to it. So now we just BE ourselves. We BE positive and we BE negative. Now this is where temptation comes in. Satan is there tempting us to not see ALL about us as Christ. We are not dead to temptation, but we are dead to sin. Temptation is our calling card to faith, as I said earlier…for a person or situation.
It is a big leap to say you are sin-free. Say it, stand in it and put the heat on God to make it “yours” and you will fully experience “Him who is able to keep you from falling”!