Leaving Ears Intact

Michael Beck

“Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.” (John 18:10)

Anger can suddenly lay hold on us, threatening to drag us off to where we are better off not going. How can we break free from anger’s tight grip? First, don’t panic. You haven’t yet done anything wrong because you feel angry.

We are told, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26) When anger arises we are at a crossroads. Where we “go” ultimately depends upon whether or not we take our angry heart to the Lord and allow Him to minister to us. He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear, but will make a way of escape that we might endure the trial. Notice, His way of escape doesn’t necessarily cause the trial to cease, but it enables us to endure, or be patient in it. (1 Cor. 10:13)

We are blessed people when we endure the temptations we face without letting them overwhelm us and lead us into sin. (James 1:12) Anger does not have to have its way. Without the Lord’s ministry to our heart, anger can be an oppressive force that forms in us ungodly attitudes and drives us to ungodly speech and actions. God knows exactly what to do with every instance of anger we feel. He is our strength when we feel so weak in withstanding our emotions. He makes our way perfect so that we don’t turn aside to any evil path. He gives us hind’s feet for the most challenging places in our life. He can keep us from succumbing to the force of our own passions. We can walk in His Spirit and not fulfill the strongest natural reactions we feel to the ugliness or injustice that vexes our heart.

Anger is not going to go away when we “get more spiritual.” Anger is a part of everyday life. Where we go with our anger is the issue. Letting God grow us up as we include Him in our “fiery furnaces” is the issue.

Don’t be surprised at the fiery anger you suddenly feel as though some strange thing is happening to you. Anger is not strange; it is normal. Peter was suddenly gripped by the hottest anger in Gethsemane. Jesus knew the temptation was coming and advised him to be in a place of prayer.

Don’t go wherever anger wants to take you. Be in the custom of going to God and going to Him quickly. If you do, more ears may be left intact.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.