Anger or Love
Ask the Lord for His perspective today. Let Him speak to you; His Word is your life!
“Surely the wrath of man shall praise You,” Psalm 76:10.
Our God is so sovereign that even those things we see as worthless He can put to use. That is good news for us because we find a lot that seems troubling to us in this life, and one of those things is human anger. Anger is actually deep fear. Fear can look afraid, or it can take the appearance of rage, but no matter which side the pendulum swings to, it is an attempt to protect ourselves and/or to control others, with no trust in God.
There is righteous anger, which is expressed for someone else, so anger is not always wrong in God’s sight. Especially with older children, there may be a time when you sense them challenge you disrespectfully and ‘instinctively’ know that you must gain them in this specific response, or lose their heart. The heart of God in this matter is not to let go of their will, watching them go on to self destruction, but to draw them back to the place of love within the protection of the family in the Lord. This is a fight for your child’s soul, not against him or her for yourself. It is crucial that we understand the difference so that we can act in line with the heart of God, and perhaps see a step toward restoration for Jesus’ sake.
Righteous anger is not against the heart of God, but human anger is, as we will see in our lesson today. The emotion of anger motivates us to take action; the action we take will reveal our deepest attitude, whether we act in a way to love our child, or an anger which intends to destroy. God’s intention is for us to fight the right battle and win back the child’s heart!
We will use God’s Word to teach us to divide between truth and error so that we have the mind of Jesus in this matter. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 2:5.
If this gets uncomfortable for you as you study, don’t think you are alone. Sometimes we need healing where we have been hurt, and sometimes we need to see where we are hurting others, but when we come to the Lord for help, only then can God heal us and lavish on us His grace! This is an opportunity to break up the hard, crusty soil of the heart so that it can be a beautiful garden for the Lord!
Probably every person alive at some time has felt afraid of someone else’s anger or threatened by someone’s attempt to control them. A likely response to this is fear, which tries to protect itself. But the authentic intent of these things from God is to be controlled by His Spirit of love, and to respond in love, entrusting oneself unto God. Every gift from God has a counterfeit, and human fear and anger are just that: counterfeit expressions of great things from God.
Please find Isaiah 30:12. Where we begin to trust in the perversities (counterfeits) of the gifts of God, what is our attitude toward the Word of God?
From Isaiah 30:13, we see that our trust has been misplaced, and it cannot hold up when the wall begins to break. This wall is the protection of God around His people, and our relying on our own methods of dealing with people will leave the wall damaged and broken, and find us open to the enemy.
It would benefit us to realize that when we become angry at our children (unrighteous anger), they can learn anger, or they can obey out of fear, but they cannot gain the grace of God through anger. They cannot grow in the one thing we want so desperately for them, the sweetness of the understanding of Jesus’ payment for them and the freedom that comes from His love! Human anger will deepen the mind of works to gain approval and acceptance.
Please copy James 1:20:
While it is true that our children’s wrongdoing needs correction, it can be done with a heart to see them prosper and not to be crushed or to prove ourselves right. Our words matter a great deal at a time like this. Please look up Proverbs 12:18. What is the difference between the effects of words used at a time of discipline?
Jesus can so change us that our motive for correcting our child is for their good, to build them up against the enemy, for the Lord and in the power of His might! A child can learn to recognize temptation and the tendencies in his or her own heart at quite an early age, and also to identify Jesus as Victor!! They can learn to run to Him early and to find in Him hope instead of judgment, identifying themselves from God’s perspective (if they have received Jesus as their Savior).
This is the meaning of 2 Corinthians 5:16, “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
This is how we can identify our motive in the correction of our children. When your children disobey or disrespect you, does the anger you feel move you to belittle your child into submission, to separate them from the family, to shame him/her and raise yourself up as the authority?
Have you been grieved over the lack of love you have for your child(ren)? There is only One who can free us from unrighteous anger, (our own or another’s) and that is Jesus. He is able to break the chains of control and yoke us up with Him! His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30), and that is the rest we need and long for. In order to free us, He must show us our own sin. The way up is down! Humility comes before exaltation; the cross came before the rising from death! But the promise of life is ours if we will travel this way. It will be worth the cost.
If you are depending on oppression to correct your children, it will become a bulging wall for you, and in this place you are susceptible to the attack of the enemy. God wants to build up the wall and restore it so that you will have a right response for those who are in your keeping. Cry out to the Lord for forgiveness and to be washed clean in His Word! Make this the prayer you ask of the Lord in faith! Keep asking until He delivers you! You know you have what you ask because it is His will that His children be set free from bondage!
Maybe you have been crying out to the Lord for a long time, and don’t understand why you still struggle with anger.
Please find Romans 6:6-7 in your Bible. Write here what you must know:
My old flesh has been __________________ with Jesus!
(You may want to write Romans 6:6-7 here.)
From Romans 6:11, find what you must count: (reckon as truth) :
My old nature is _________________. I am _____________ to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:11)
In Romans 6:13,14, state what you are free to offer:
I offer my ____________ to ____________ as an instrument of _________________. God is my Master (Romans 6:13,14)
Your actions have to do with what you believe, what you think about. To be victorious you must know that your identity is not that person who is angry and mean. That person has been crucified with Jesus. She may scream at you and demand that you scream at others, but you have been bought by a new Master who won you over by love! To confess your sin to Jesus is to refuse to hide the usurper anymore. Fling that door open before the Lord! Let HIM answer that temptation!
How can we do that? We must be prepared ahead of time. First we must know what the lie(s) is/are. Ask Him what lies you have believed. As He tells you, write them here: (If He chooses to wait to reveal them to you, just keep asking, though He takes time. You can continue to study even while you wait, asking in confidence that He will answer you.)
A lie must be met with the truth. This is about how we think. His Word is truth (John 17:17) and He must show us specific truth to give us understanding so that when the tempter comes, we won’t succumb to the lie. The devil comes with the lie, and our flesh, our old nature, is his willing ally. We must identify with our new nature, and our risen King Jesus. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17.
We must have His Word to answer temptation, that He speaks instead of us. As we believe and obey Him in this, He will supernaturally change us, giving us power to believe Him further and resist the suggestion to be angry, and react in His love instead. Yes, it is absolutely impossible without Him. But with Him, all things are possible! (Matthew 19:26) He changes His children so that His life is what flows from us naturally. It is gradual, a process, as we learn to believe Him. Don’t be deceived; there is change and real deliverance from unrighteous anger.
As you read the Bible, ask Him for verses that will replace any lie you have been believing. He is faithful to deliver! Write it/them on a piece of paper to tuck in your pocket, tape by the kitchen sink, attach to your frig door, anywhere you will see it, and commit these things to memory! Act in faith, not frenzy. You are a child of the King, and His deliverance is sure. Walk in confidence in the Lord. When the situation arises, you will be able to resist by knowing the Truth!
The victory is ours in Christ!
Let’s pray together:
Lord God, You alone are the only wise Judge, and You tell me that you can change my heart from believing that I am who You are. You are God; I am not. My ways are death to me and to those I love most, and I don’t want to function this way anymore. Please teach me to replace lies with Your Word so that I will live by Your power, not by mine. Help me to love the children You have given me. Please change our home, that it will be a picture of Your kingdom, a place of Your peace, a haven for all of our family. I trust that You will set me free, and I will wait for You and trust in Your Word. In Jesus’ name, A-men.