When Anger Lurks

Michael Beck

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31)

When Jonah finally went to Nineveh, he still didn’t like the mission. The rage was still there, and in the end it erupted like a volcano. We can bury anger, but sooner or later, we will have to face it.

God had a gourd, a worm, the sun, and a vehement east wind all conspire together to smoke out Jonah’s anger. When it surfaced, God was able to address what galled Jonah from the beginning: he was angry with the evil Assyrians and wanted vengeance taken out upon them. He knew God was a merciful God and might not have the same attitude toward them if they repented. Deep down, he was not only angry at the vile Assyrians; he was angry at a good God.

Even prophets of God need attitude adjustments. We may be doing great things for God, and believing right things about God, and yet we may not be having fellowship with Him in our heart of hearts. Holding on to anger toward someone when God would fill our heart with His mercy will surely cause us to break fellowship with Him.

We don’t put away our anger by ignoring it. We may forget it’s there; but God doesn’t. Sooner or later, it will have to be addressed; because the Lord wants His servants to be on the same page with Him.

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.