OK, angry homo sapiens, but I liked this title better.
I so appreciate the Amplified version of God’s holy Word. It breaks it down and makes it simple for me. Yes there’s a ton of words to read but it gives insight into what I might not get otherwise.
Take Matthew 5.22 for instance. “But I say I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice (enmity of heart). against him shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court; and whoever speaks contemptuously and insultingly to his brother shall be liable…” (emphasis mine).
It goes on to call that person an “empty-headed fool unable to escape hell,” but it’s long and wordy. I do encourage you to read it some time.
So here’s the thing. God makes it quite plain that anger is a natural emotion but to keep it is a choice. I personally know several ‘birds’ I would describe as angry and one more a harborer of resentment. You probably do too. In my 50 something years of life I’ve only come across two people (that I know of), one who refused to forgive me for one simple, though to their mind rash, action, and one for inappropriate, to their mind, timing.
I interceded hard for the former, once they bothered to tell me and refused my apology, for three days – on the fifth day I found out they had died in their kitchen. Possibly angry. At me. But here’s the kicker: for something I didn’t even know I had done! I was told on the sixth day they had mental issues. That doesn’t lessen the grief. And there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. I repented to God and to them, I prayed for them and asked God to change their heart, but they have a part in the process.
The resentment harborer has avoided me ever since the so-called incident, and even forbidden someone very precious to associate with me, which leads me to my next point: anger is never solitary. It always affects those around you. Not to mention your own walk with God.
No wonder James tells us it’s ok to be angry but don’t sin. Which tells me God doesn’t have a problem with the emotion – He gave it to us – He has a problem when it’s used unwisely. Righteous anger is healthy, and usually brings about change for good. Wrongly directed anger is unhealthy, sometimes fatal. Every media report I have ever read about highschoolers killing highschoolers mentions at some point that the perpetrators were angry. I believe it opens more doors than we can possibly foresee. I’m writing a YA novel about that very thing.
The ‘malice’ part really stuck with me. One of those angry birds often talks about the past; his words make it clear he has overflowing resentment toward a great many people. Which might explain some of his destructive life choices. He blames PTSD, bipolar, manic depressive symptoms for what he sees as his crummy life but we all have some influence over our actions. Just last night he talked at length of how he “enjoys seeing God’s justice” come on those who have crossed him. I realized it was futile to mention he might want to rethink the motivation there.
Which led me full circle back to me myself and I. Yes, I’m the first to tell you I’m no angel but I refuse to intentionally harbor malice or anger against anyone for anything. I choose to live every minute of every day like it’s my last. I want to win souls and influence eternities while I’m here, and take a bunch of folk with me when I go. Spiritually speaking.
Feel free to share your thoughts. I’m always interested in new perspective.
Kari, the so-not-angry-bird
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