Challenge Central: a CBC devotional
by: Pastor Jeremy Heikkinen
Anger is not your friend! As I was walking on yard duty today, a student slowly made his way in my direction with his head down. As he got closer he muttered that he needed to walk with me for the rest of recess because of his anger.
Proverbs 22:24 says, “Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and enable yourself in a snare” (ESV).
Anger has a lot to do with the desire for control. I want something and if I don’t get it then I use anger to control the outcome or express my emotions towards not getting what I wanted. James 1:19-20 tells us, “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (ESV). This passage tells us why it is important to make no friendship with a man given to anger. Not only does his or her sin splash onto you and you learn his or her ways, but it prevents you from doing what God wants you to do (produce the righteousness of God).
It is hard to be in the presence of someone that is given to anger. Why? Because they don’t listen and they say hurtful things. Think about the last time you were angry…what did you say? How loud did you say it?…What did you do with your hands/feet? Would you like someone to treat your like that? In James 1:21 God calls us to “put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (and having to walk with me during recess). Moments of anger should not become excuses to sin, they are opportunities to become more like Jesus.
As I walked out the rest of recess with this student we worked through these questions:
1. What were you wanting that you did not get?
2. How did you respond when you did not get what you wanted? What did you say, what did you do?
3. When is it okay to sin if we don’t get what we want?
4. How might it look/sound to speak the truth in love the next time you get angry?
Take a minute and recall the last time you were angry. Walk down through these questions. If you are given to anger, chances are that life is pretty lonely for you. This can change. By God’s grace, you can change! Turn control back over to God. Ask Him to make His desires your desires. Plead with the Holy Spirit to help you be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.