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Monday, December 30, 2013

J.W. Duffey
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare

"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." James 1:19-20

A Word of Hope

I’m Irish, so it’s never been difficult to get me angry. I get angry with myself, others, my car, my job, the Cowboys, you name it. And many, many times I’ve gotten angry with God. But, I’ve learned recently that my anger was going hand in hand with my anxiety, especially when I was aggravated with myself.

I attended a show preformed by the Uptown Players called The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told. There was a short scene where one of the actors spoke of a time when the love of his life was in the hospital fighting for his life against HIV/AIDS. He recalled yelling at God in anger. “You need to get down here now, God, and fix this! This happened on your watch!” I almost bursted into tears. I can remember saying the same thing. My situation was different but I can remember many occasions when I was ready to get into a fist fight with God to get my way. I don’t feel that would have ended well. Can’t stop that Irish temper though. I was mad at my old church for the cold shoulder I received, mad at God allowing a loved one to pass away unexpectedly, and angry at myself for letting myself think I was choosing to be sinful.

I’m not saying that there’s no such thing as righteous anger. Your situation might call for a little spite. Anger is your God-given capacity to respond to a wrong that you think is important. This could be something as minor as getting turned down for a date. Or it could be something as major as your partner running off with your best friend. God also gets angry at things that are wrong in this world. Your capacity to be angry is an expression that we’re all made in God’s image. So when you get angry, you are not necessarily wrong. But often anger does go wrong. For me, it takes a huge amount of energy. That negative energy causes me to make rash/terrible decisions. I can’t count the numerous times I had to go back and apologize for speaking out of anger to others and to God. Thankfully our God is patient, merciful, loving, and forgiving and lets me ask for unlimited do-overs. Has anger taken hold of your life? There's a simple solution: hand over the reins of your heart to the Lord and walk every day in God's love and forgiveness. However cliché it sounds, let go and let God. Take a few moments right now to let go of your anger.

Oh heavenly Lord, forgive me for my anger against You and others. I give You total control of my life, both the good and the bad. I also give You the hurts from the past. Thank You for forgiving me and for teaching me how to walk in love each and every day. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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