I’m reading a new book for morning devotions. It’s called Enemies of the Heart: Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You by Andy Stanley. I recommend it. One of the emotions is ANGER. Stanley makes some great points…
Anger says, “You owe me.”…Anger is the result of not getting something we want… you didn’t get what you were convinced you deserved… The root of anger is the perception that something has been taken. Something is owed you. And a debt-to-debtor relationship has been established (pp. 55-57).
Wow, right? Now here is where the Scripture combines anger and kindness. We won’t get too deep (you can study that part!), but I want you to notice what each of these verses says about our God.
…but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not. Nehemiah 9:17
…for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Joel 2:13
…for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Jonah 4:2
Let’s flip Andy Stanley’s statements, aimed at us for recognition of our anger and how we can hold others hostage because we don’t get what we want or think we deserve.
What debt did we owe God that He forgave because He is kind?
Whew! Yes, a praise goes right there. All these prophets declared Him GRACIOUS AND MERCIFUL. They all said He was SLOW TO ANGER, and OF GREAT KINDNESS. Because of His kindness, He did not and does not forsake. Because of His kindness, He has changed and changes His mind about releasing judgment.
Isn’t that a marvelous report about Someone?! What can be said about us?
The beauty is that we have another day to BE like our Father. I want this kind of report. Let’s add to our faith by verbal confession. Insert your name.
_____________ is gracious.
_____________ is merciful.
_____________ is slow to anger.
_____________ is of great kindness.
_____________ does not abandon relationships out of emotional stirring.
_____________ lets mercy and kindness triumph over judgment.
Royal Ones, we are becoming the change we want to see — past the press of emotions and the temptation of soulish responses. We are KIND.
Selah, and love to all.