Avoid the sin of anger - 27 August 2018

Neville Turley

Jesus answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’… The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’Matthew 22:37,39 (GNT)

Imagine the happiness among the people of Nineveh.  They were facing doom. A fate they acknowledged they richly deserved. In their desperation they turned to God and repented. God answered their prayers and forgave their sins.

The forty-day deadline that had hung like a sword over them and their families was no more. Life could go on again. Everyone was happy except Jonah.

 

He was angry, very angry. So, he turned to God in prayer. His was not a prayer of praise and thanksgiving quite the reverse. He was angry with God.

He reveals in the final chapter in the book of Jonah, the reason why he had disobeyed God and tried to run away to Spain. It was because he knew God would not really punish the people of Nineveh. (Jonah 4:2)

Jonah was making the same mistake many of us make today. We bring Almighty God down to our level. Something bad happens, we cannot explain it, so we blame God for our predicament.  Tragic the number of people who lose loved ones to death and in their anger reject God because of their pain and loss.

The sin of anger runs through our society like a corrosive acid. We see it when inflamed with jealousy and greed, people’s intolerance of each other boils over into protests, arguments, foul language, assaults and sometimes murder.

Adam and Eve’s eldest son, Cain, was a classic example of how anger can ruin a life. Cain was angry when his brother, Abel’s offering pleased the Lord whilst his own was rejected. Despite the Lord warning him to control his anger, he took Abel into the countryside and killed him. For the rest of his life Cain was banished from God’s presence and became a homeless wanderer.  (Genesis 4:1-17).

Anger triumphs when we fail to live up to the standards God sets in our verse for the day.

Prayer: Heavenly Father through your Holy Spirit enable us to replace our feelings of anger with love. For Jesus sake. Amen

 

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