June 01, 2021
Anger can be a terribly destructive emotion. Everyone has been on the blunt end of someone else's displeasure. And some have given more anger than they've received.
Jonah is one of the most revealing stories in the Bible about this deadly emotion. Jonah became angry because he was sent on a mission he did not want, and God saved people he did not like. After God delivered 120,000 people in Ninevah, Jonah's response was telling.
But it greatly displeased Jonah, and he became angry. (Jonah 4:1)
His anger was completely unjustified and selfishly motivated. He sat down and wanted to die out of his frustration. God said to him, "Do you have good reason to be angry?" (vs. 4)
That's a great question and one we should ask every time we find ourselves boiling with hurt. Does selfishness drive our resentment? A temporary loss of our supposed "rights?" What we wanted? Are we upset because God is blessing someone we don't like? Giving others the attention we think we deserve?
When you read the account of Jonah's anger, it is full of childish whining and self-pity. Jonah is reduced to the smallest of men, and forever in history, he is remembered for his petty anger.
Don't let history record you this way. If you see anger rising, evaluate the source. If it's foolish and unwarranted, face your sin and ask God for His forgiveness and cleansing. Surrender you rights to the One who "while being reviled, reviled not again." Choose to let the grace of God flow through your life to a watching world.
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