Like most of us today, I use an app on my phone to help me navigate when I am not sure how to get where I am going. At the end of the trip, it will let me know I have reached my destination.
The world seems to be taking a trip with no final destination in mind. It is lost and no GPS is going to help it find its way. There is a deep-seated anger in its movements, a swiftness that pushes and shoves at anything in its way. It is like watching a flash flood wash away streets and bridges, picking up debris along the way and trapping people in their vehicles and homes. This anger is permeating society, as if to be angry about something, anything at all, is the only way to move society from one point to another.
I recently heard a story told by a woman who had been removed from an airplane. She found herself becoming more and more frustrated, angry, and out of control. In her anger she lashed out and became combative. Later she described the events as if they were a blur, she only remembered bits and pieces, but she knew the anger had just taken over.
Protests, social media, politics, public transportation, even celebrations, have become hotspots for a new kind of anger. This anger seems to have no reason other than to reach out and destroy the lives of others.
What does our Bible tell us about this kind of anger?
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 we find a description of what the end times will be like. There seems to be a lot of anger, loss of control, destructive actions and thoughts which permeate this prophetic period of time.
"But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people."
Where does this kind of destructive anger come from?
In Ephesians 4:26-27 we are told to be angry but not to sin in our anger. We are to keep that anger under control and not let the sun go down it. We are also warned that anger can give Satan a foothold.
There is nothing wrong with getting angry. Even God gets angry. But that anger must be for the right reasons, and we must keep it under control. Out-of-control anger can open the door for Satan. Is that what we are seeing today? Are we witnessing such out of control anger that Satan is able to open the door to a much deeper seething, which moves past anger into something brutal and destructive?
How do we avoid becoming a part of the anger we see all around us?
Let’s begin by taking the instructions in 2 Timothy 3:5 and applying them to our daily lives. We are to avoid people who are prone to this kind of anger. We are to remove ourselves from this kind of situation and not be a part of it. That could mean not attending certain events such as protests, which tend to bring about anger and violence. It could also mean leaving a celebration if we see this type of anger beginning to take hold of others in attendance. It may mean cutting ties with someone who seems to display this kind of anger on a regular basis.
There is a promise given to all followers of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. This promise is something of great value and should be cherished and nurtured. As Jesus was preparing His disciples for when they would no longer have Him with them, He said these encouraging words, recorded in John 14:27:
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."
We are given peace through the Holy Spirit, directly from the Lord. It is this peace we must nurture and make a part of our lives and character. As the world around us rages in anger, we have an inner peace greater than any anger they may have.
God’s people will show fruits of His spirit in other ways as well
Galatians 5:22-23 says: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
What a contrast there is between the Spirit of God in us and the spirit in this world. We are truly blessed to be loved by our Father above in such a way that He gifts us those things we need to live with peace, joy and self-control. Let’s do our best to nurture those attributes, make them a part of our daily lives and put aside those things which would not add to this kind of mindset.