You Angry, Bro?
Dear City Calvary,
Why do believers get angry and what do they get angry about? Seriously, other than righteous anger towards sin and the devil, what reason do we have to be mad? To be honest, I need go no further than to ask the man in the mirror because he gets angry from time to time. And if I’m being honest, the answer (almost every time) is the same – I’m not getting what I want. This is most likely true for you as well. If you or I ask our self “what right do I have to be so mad?”, the answer is usually the same – “none, I’m just not getting what I want.”
This is exactly where we saw Jonah this past Sunday in Jonah 4:1-5. He obeyed God by preaching to the Ninevites who responded in the most amazing and beautiful way, the whole city repented and believed. Jonah’s reaction was to become bitterly angry. God asked Jonah, “Have you any right to be angry?” Jonah didn’t answer that very pointed and appropriate question, he just went away by himself and sulked. The reason Jonah was furious was that God didn’t rain down fire and brimstone upon Nineveh. Jonah wanted judgment, justice, death and destruction upon the enemy of his people. God wanted grace, mercy, and life for them.
In the aftermath, Jonah could have experienced something huge, celebrating with the Ninevites their new faith in the Living God and then taking the entire city through a basic believers class. How exciting would that be – to have 120,000+ people show up for Sunday School. Instead, Jonah’s experience is small. He has a pity-party for one (usually the number of people invited to those parties). Jonah is alone, uncomfortable, and useless – all because he let anger get the best of him.
Sad story. It’s also a good lesson for us as to what happens when we let anger get the best of us. Next time you find yourself in a similar place as Jonah, ask: “what right do I have to be so angry?” You could stay frustrated and mad as you partake in the lonely pity-party you give yourself. The result will be small. Or, you could tell God that you are sorry because there is no legitimate right, and then let the peace of God and joy in the Lord fill your heart as you look to see what He has instore next.
Our story of Jonah is not over yet. We left off with him sitting at his party of one. What happens next? How does the story end? Come and find out this Sunday. Be sure to invite a friend and arrive on time, ready to worship Jesus. Remember the all church picnic after the service.
Blessings in Jesus,