Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Ray Ortlund, Jr.:
Anger is a judging emotion. Anger is our hearts feeling that something is wrong. And a lot is wrong. But wisdom brings this judging emotion itself under judgment. Fools unleash it without filtering it. In so doing, they exalt, they lift up for everyone to see, their own folly (Proverbs 14:29). But the wise rule their emotions with a nobility that outclasses world conquerors: "He who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city" (Proverbs 16:32). Conquering a city is child's play compared with ruling the turbulent, demanding, upset world inside us. The one is only the battle of a day. The other is the conflict of a lifetime.
Proverbs: Wisdom That Works, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012) 161, emphasis added.

The whole quote is good and helpful, but for practical help in the day-to-day battle against sinful anger, I think the first 4 sentences are really worth pondering.
Anger is a judging emotion.
What am I judging here? Do I have the right to make this judgment? Etc.
Anger is our hearts feeling that something is wrong.
What is wrong? Why is it wrong? Is there anything wrong in me? Etc.
A lot is wrong.
I need to sift out righteous from unrighteous anger. There is most certainly such a thing as righteous anger (Psalm 4:4; Mark 3:5; Ephesians 4:26), but most of our anger is of the unrighteous sort. We have good reason to be suspicious of ourselves.
Wisdom brings this judging emotion itself under judgment.
If anger is a judging emotion; if anger is my heart feeling that something is wrong; if a lot is me, then what if I got angry at (and judged as wrong) my own unrighteous anger?!

It just might lead to repentance, and from repentance to the grace God promises to the humble, and from that promised grace to the peaceful calm from which I can bless and not curse.

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