Last updated on September 24, 2020
Sunday night I was reading the book of Haggai after church when I realized that my problems as of late are because of spiritual drought and that I had brought it on myself by getting so far away from God and so far into the world whenever my family and church family wasn’t looking. Similar to how God’s people had brought a literal drought on themselves by getting away from God.
Now, I’m having a hard time stopping listening to the metal music I had been listening to. It’s almost like an addiction. I found that type of music relatable when I was so angry (and still do). How do I stop?
I also realized that bursts of anger and days of unexplainable anger and disdain are probably problems I’ll have for the rest of my life. Saved and forgiven doesn’t mean perfect. I know anger can be a powerful motivator, is it sinful to use anger as a motivation to do the right things?
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).
Anger, in general, doesn’t help you think clearly. If your mind isn’t engaged and weighing the situation accurately, you’ll end up making mistakes. This isn’t to say there isn’t a place for proper anger.
Most people get angry about slights they perceive as being against themselves. Yet those are the very times when we are told to count such times as joyful. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12). Notice that we can do this because we know we are doing what God wants.
The times when anger has a place is when you protecting someone else. Jesus was angry when the Jews were abusing God’s temple to make money for themselves (John 2:12-17). Even in his anger, Jesus knew what he was doing and why. It would be appropriate to be angry at someone who is abusing a child. It isn’t about yourself but someone else.
Anger is going to happen, but we cannot allow it to last or to cause us to sin. “‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27). Sin, such as unjustified anger, cannot produce righteousness. “And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”? — as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just” (Romans 3:8).
Anger is something that you can pick up from others. “Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul” (Proverbs 22:24-25). If the music you listen to expresses anger, then it is going to influence you — especially since you find it reflecting your personal mood. Perhaps it is time to learn to appreciate other forms of music.
For the same reason, filling yourself with God’s wisdom will counteract your tendency to fly off the handle. “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:17-18). So dive back into His Word. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).