I never thought of myself as an angry person. Quite the opposite, actually. I had seen angry people when I was growing up. They were scary and yelled a lot with red faces and harsh, hurtful words. Like my uncle who would yell at me and threaten me with his belt when my parents weren’t around…
But I was never that person. I doubt anybody has ever thought of me as being scary. I can’t remember ever threatening another human being. The thought of saying harsh things that would hurt someone makes me ache. And typically, if my voice is raised, it isn’t when I’m angry.
So, I’m not an angry person, right?
Psalm 37:7 – “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret...” (emphasis mine)
I don’t yell or threaten, but “fret”?
I had to look it up. I knew what I thought it meant, but as it turned out, I only had half the story.
To fret – to eat or gnaw into, to corrode, fray, rub, chafe, wear away, vex, agitate, grate.
Now, how many times have I felt those things? The first examples that come to mine are times that I’ve been wronged and anger (not to be confused with wrath or vengeance) has been warranted. But I also have to admit that there have been times that I’ve felt those things for no good cause. Or worse, there have been times when the anger was justified, but that I dealt with it incorrectly – most often through sarcasm, alienation, or even turning the anger inward to punish myself. Quite an admission for the little girl who thought she was never angry…
So, here’s my question: If “to rest in the Lord is to cease from anger,” as Bob Sorge tells us, then how does one accomplish that? How do you accomplish that?
This post is part of a weekly discussion on Bob Sorge’s “The Fire of Delayed Answers.” For more discussion, visit my co-facilitator, Jason Stasyszen or any of the contributors linked at the widget below.