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The Anger of Man

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 . . . for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

James 1:20 (ESV)

 

I ended the last post with a statement about Issachar being a happy and content baby. That is not always true of baby Issachar. Case in point, tell him it is time for a diaper change and he will give you this look as if to say, “You’re going to do what?? How dare you interrupt my comfort!”DSC_8235_

This is a tell tale sign that you have a human for a child because all humanity is incredibly self-centered and  desperately wicked. There simply aren’t any exceptions to this. We all act out of our perceived self preservation and this trait is with us from birth. This is not okay. It is the human condition and it reminds us that we need to be saved from our wickedness.

The bad news is that this tendency to be self centered and selfish comes pre-packaged from birth and remains within us until we experience a rebirth. However, selfishness does not always remain in its ugly estate. Often times it gets worse.

Observe for example, what happens when you take this a step further, and not only threaten to disrupt his comfort,DSC_8232_ but actually carry through with it. In other words, we moved beyond the potential for discomfort and actually made him uncomfortable by changing his diaper. The result is pretty ugly. Anger, rage and a lack of self control . . . all of which are strongly condemned by scripture.

Now before we get into a debate over our son’s ability to understand that we are doing what is in his best interest, I want to point out that I am fully aware that he is not able to understand what we are doing. That is not my point. Regardless of his ability to understand much of anything right now, his instinctive reaction is to throw a fit when he does not get what he wants. He only desires what pleases him and him alone; and to be fair, this is perfectly normal for what little understanding has of the world- but it is not innocent. It is the very definition of selfishness. We didn’t teach him this. This is how he came into the world and it is the same way which our other children came into the world and in which you and I came into the world. Our job as parents is to nurture and comfort our children when they need it- but it is also to allow them to experience the displeasure of life in order to protect them from harm.

Has God changed your heart? Or are you like our son Issachar? When life doesn’t go your way do you throw a fit? Do you meditate on your displeasure like Jonah and feel sorry for yourself? Does your displeasure turn to anger? James tells us that our anger does not produce righteousness. Are you holding onto something that has happened to you in your life which has made you angry? If so, then that anger is a bitter enemy. Not because it causes you to be more miserable (although that may be true) but because it does not produce righteousness- and righteousness is what all who belong to God long for.

 

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