More Alive Than Ever

Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. JAMES 1:19 AMPC 

Yes, James brings up some common human frailties here, and this devotion will deal with the last segment of the verse, which is just as indispensable as the first part! Anger—that topic isn’t fun to talk about. But everybody who’s still breathing is surely dealing with it. Maybe every single day.  

To feel the emotion of anger is not always a sin, but it can certainly lead to sin. If it is not dealt with God’s way, then the devil can get some traction in our lives, and it can lead to unforgiveness, bitterness, grudges, or revenge. We can’t avoid all anger in this life. Even Jesus became angry when confronted with the money changers who were desecrating the Temple—and Jesus never once sinned. But wouldn’t it be freeing to know how to deal with our anger? Ephesians says, “BE ANGRY [at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior], YET DO NOT SIN; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down. And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness]” (4:26–27 AMP). 

These verses in Ephesians don’t give us carte blanche when it comes to anger but acknowledge that there can be valid reasons for these emotions. For instance, all kinds of injustices and immoral behavior can cause us righteous indignation, which is understandable. Sometimes the anger is connected to our own sinful behaviors. Yikes! However, when the emotion does arrive, the keys to dealing with it are to be slow to anger. And not to allow the sun to go down before we have dealt with it the right way, whether through prayer or an apology or whatever God asks of us. 

No matter where the anger comes from, dealing with it in a godly fashion will help us to face each new day, fresh and free, and more alive than ever! 

Lord, when I get angry in this life, help me to deal with it properly. Amen. 

This is an excerpt from Pure Joy: A 90 Day Devotional in the Book of James – a devotional now available on Shop all books, journals, and devotions from DaySpring here.