Godly Meditation helps resolve anger.
Anger is a part of life. Everyone gets angry. Anger is not a sin, it’s an emotion. It is how we deal with it that determines whether it is healthy or not. Consider the meditation of Psalm 4:3-4
3 But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The LORD will hear when I call to Him.
4 Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
The instruction of scripture is to put anger in its proper place. This begins by putting ourselves in the proper spiritual position. Those who are godly are set apart for God. This means that if we act according to God’s call, we are in a position to see the goodness of the Lord. We first see His favor in our lives, then we see His hand in our circumstances. A godly perspective is how we must begin when dealing with anger. We don’t brood, but rather meditate. There is a difference.
When I’m angry, I must meditate and be still. The same is true for you. First still yourself and push the emotional reactions aside. Meditate upon the things you know about God and godliness, and then put your anger into perspective. Stop and look at what created the anger. Is it anger over not getting our way? Is it petty things that aren’t worthy of the emotional energy we put into it? Stress is often the accumulation of little annoyances, but when we take the time to think upon the object of our anger, and put it into a godly perspective, anger and frustration can be diffused.
Not every battle is worth fighting. Not every situation has a resolution. People are blind to the faults they have that frustrate us. And we are blind to our faults as well. Sometimes we have to look at the frustration in light of the entirety of life and the eternal perspective of our Christian walk.
Jesus warned, “Hold fast to what you have that no one takes your crown.”
What we have is the gift of God. Not only do we have redemption, but we have God’s path He created for us to walk in. The Lord said that He fashioned our days for us before we were born. The same passage also says God has precious thoughts toward us that are greater in number than the sand of the seas. This means that God has already laid out a way for you to experience life to its fullest. This includes our eternal life.
Sadly, we let go of the crown of God’s reward so we can cling to anger against people. This is one way we let people take our crown. Some are led away from God through worldly philosophies, but even a theologically sound person can lose perspective and invest their lives in meaningless things at the cost of eternal things. Selfish anger is one of those meaningless things.
Anger isn’t always bad. Sometimes anger causes us to act in a good way. When Peter denied Jesus three times, he was defeated and guilt ridden. Afterward, Jesus came to him. “Peter, do you love me more than you love these?” When Peter said yes, Jesus gave him the command to feed his sheep, referring to teaching others how to become disciples of Christ.
Jesus asked Peter again if he loved Him. Again Peter said he did. Then Jesus asked a third time. Peter was grieved that Jesus kept asking the same question, but there was a point. Peter was defeated. His focus was only on himself and he didn’t feel worthy to be the apostle Jesus had called him to be. By the third time Jesus asked the question, anger began to light a fire in Peter’s heart. He was being forced to take his eyes off his defeat and put them on his calling. God used anger to stir Peter back to life.
Selfish anger never produces righteousness. We try to make our anger appear righteous, but the truth is, if I’m focused on myself, it’s selfish anger. When people become angry at how they’ve been treated, their emotions become destructive. But let someone get angry at the neglect of the poor and what happens? They set out to change the part of the world within their power.
A man recently passed away named David Wilkerson. He was a struggling pastor until an event angered him into action. In his book, The Cross and the Switchblade, David describes the event that changed his life. A gang of youths were being tried for murder. When he saw the picture in the paper, he saw children. Kids not yet in high school were committing murder. These forgotten children were being left without guidance on the cruel city streets of New York. It angered him and he set out to touch their lives. Though he never had the opportunity to meet the kids he went to see, God used that anger as a turning point and a call to action to reach the youth of New York’s streets.
When we feel anger, it’s a call to search our hearts while looking toward godliness. Is it my wrong that makes me angry and creates selfish indignation? Or is it a call toward a need. Maybe that need begins with dealing with my own selfishness.
Most people get angry and react, but never meditate. We go day to day reacting to what bothers us while anger builds up pressure and erodes away a godly attitude. Jesus became angry on several occasions, but not once did He show anger for wrongs done to Him. He saw the poor being fleeced in the temple and he became angry and put a stop to the business of buying and selling. What happened when people called Him demon possessed, a drunkard, a sinner, and a deceiver? He explained the truth but never defended Himself out of pride.
Be still and think upon your walk of faith. How does anger reveal what needs to be changed in the world around you? How does selfish anger reveal what needs to be changed in your life? How can you turn a brooding heart into a meditating heart?