What causes fights and quarrels among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.
Why do we get angry? What truly causes offense? We become angry when someone gets in the way of our desires. This anger is often rooted in our own selfish wants. When we don’t get, “our way,” we find ourselves latching onto the passion of anger and not getting off the ride until we feel, “justified.”
Sometimes, we will justify our anger by saying it is “righteous.” Unlike sinful anger which is provoked by us not getting our way, righteous anger is provoked at the violation of what God loves and values. Our growth as believers is not marked by getting angry less, but by getting angry about the same things that anger the Lord. So, the first test of our anger needs to be whether it is over injustices that align with the heart of God? I would venture a guess that most of our anger falls into a different category, one that is much more self-focused.
Bring your anger before God. Confess your frustrations and emotions to Him. Like the Psalmist who writes, “…forgive my hidden faults.” (Psalm 19:12), we ask that the grace of God would go before us and cover the unseen sin in our lives as we grow with Him.
Christ’s grace does not just pardon us from sin but also provides the power to live a godly life. A life where all passions, yes even anger, are rooted not in sin, but in the righteousness of God.
-Read and reflect on James 4:1-12. How does this scripture apply to you? What will you do differently now?