This is the Only Helpful Answer to Our Bitterness and Anger

The only helpful answer to our bitterness and anger is the gospel. Paul put it this way: “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. “Admittedly, when we are bitter and angry, words like this can sound like a hyper-spiritual platitude, which pushes us to defend our bitterness by recalling the valid reasons for our pain. When we defend our angry bitterness, we appeal to a sense of justice – that to simply forgive someone who has not apologized, changed, or made amends is tantamount to condoning evil.

– Driscoll, Mark; Who Do You Think You Are? Finding Your True Identity in ChristThomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, copyright 2013; Page 162

When Our Anger, Rather than the Holy Spirit Rules Us

When our anger, rather than the Holy Spirit, rules us, we become the kind of quick-tempered, hotheaded fool the Bibles warns against in the book of Proverbs; “hey quick-tempered man tax foolishly. Period. He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly.” Conversely, “the discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression. ”

– Driscoll, Mark; Who Do You Think You Are? Finding Your True Identity in ChristThomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, copyright 2013; Page 161

Our Stuggle With a Holy God

The struggle we have with a holy God is rooted in the conflict between God’s righteousness and our unrighteousness.  He is just, and we are unjust.  This tension creates fear, hostility and anger within us toward God.  The unjust person does not desire the company of a just judge.  We becomes fugitives, fleeing from the presence of the One whose glory can blind us and whose justice can condemn us.  We are at war with Him unless or until we are justified.  Only the justified person can be comfortable in the presence of a holy God.

– R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Ill., Copyright 1985, Kindle Edition

The Cloak that Covers Transparency

Often our preoccupation with the three most basic human desires – security, pleasure and power – is the cloak that covers transparency.  The endless struggle for enough money, good feelings, and prestige yields a rich harvest of worry, frustration, suspicion, anger, jealousy, anxiety, fear and resentment.

– Brennan Manning, The Importance of Being Foolish: How to Think Like Jesus, HarperOne, copyright 2005, page 38

Our Peaceful Coexistence with Something God Hates

Therefore every time we sin, we are doing something that God hates.  He hates our lustful thoughts, our pride and jealousy, our outburst of temper, and our rationalization that the end justifies the means.  We need to be gripped by the fact that God hates all these things.  We become so accustomed to our sins we sometimes lapse into a state of peaceful coexistence with them, but God never ceases to hate them.

– Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, Navpress, copyright 1978, page 32

Any Leader Can Get Angry, What Matters is the Response

Any leader can get angry.  The effective leader controls his temper.  No matter what the provocation, he or she will not stoop to respond with patronizing contempt or brutal vindictiveness.  Love always advises patience.

– Haggai, Dr. John E, The Influential Leader: 12 Steps to Igniting Visionary Decision Making, copyright 2009, Harvest House Publishers: Eugene, Oregon, page 82

We Cannot Apply Human Logic and Justice to God

But we cannot apply human logic and justice to the living God.  Human logic is based on human experience and human nature.  Yahweh does not conform to this model.  If Israel is unfaithful, God remains faithful against all logic and all limits of justice because He is.  Love clarifies the happy irrationality of God’s conduct.  Love tends to be irrational at times.  It pursues despite infidelity.  It blossoms into jealousy and anger – which betrays keen interest.  The more complex and emotional the image of God becomes in the Bible, the bigger He grows, and the more we approach the mystery of His indefinability.

– Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, copyright 1990, 2000, page 101

God’s Wrath is not a Cranky Explosion

Think how we feel when we see someone we love ravaged by unwise actions or relationships.  Do we respond with benign tolerance as we might toward strangers?  Far from it…Anger isn’t the opposite of love.  Hate is, and the final form of hate is indifference…God’s wrath is not a cranky explosion, but his settled opposition to the cancer…which is eating out the insides of the human race he loves with his whole being.

– Becky Pippert, Hope Has Its Reasons

as quoted by, Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, copyright 2008, page 73