Anger, impatience, and frustration at imperfection is my downfall. It is more than a downfall, really. That sounds so unintentional and innocent. It’s sin. Ugly, devastating, repulsive sin. It damages everything in its path. I do…so often I damage and destroy people with my anger. I can easily justify my heart and actions by insisting that I desire justice, truth or righteousness. I assure myself that it is my right, or maybe even my duty, because of the sin of others that I experience around me. But it’s a lie. I know that my anger boils just beneath the surface until it is ready to scald. When it does finally bubble over it is utterly disgusting and dangerous. I deeply hate that it is within me, but sometimes I start to believe the lie that I can handle it. Sometimes I get a false sense of pride that I am in control. Then I begin to think that maybe my anger really isn’t that bad after all.
One night, a few weeks ago, I had a dream. I don’t often have dreams that I know are from God, but this one I was convinced was downright evil. I’m not going to elaborate too much because it was straight out of a horror film, which I never watch. I was in an old house with a few little kids running around. They giggled and laugh as they went out to play on the flat roof. When they skipped back in I asked where one of the kids was. The two standing in front of me shrugged a little and smiled with an empty eeriness. The rickety door behind them swung open a crack and through it I could see the missing boy laying on the ground, blood dripping from the wounds in his head. I could go on in detail but there is no need. Awful, evil…bloodthirsty death. It grieves me that it was even in my head.
I awoke praying fervently for the images to be erased from my brain. I blinked trying to see something other than the disgusting picture flickering behind my eyelids. I tried to dwell on the holiness, beauty and awesomeness of God in order to renew my mind. I hate to see the innocent suffering for someone else’s selfishness. I hate nonchalant violence. And the shedding of blood, dripping blood, makes me sick. Honestly, this was beyond repulsive.
Then words from God came to me…crystal clear and convicting.
“Anger is just like this.”
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment;
Yeshua holds me to an significantly higher standard than my own. I am ashamed to say that this is not something that comes naturally to me. I am so grateful for the Messiah’s sacrifice and covering for my absolute inability to do anything with a pure heart. I desire with all that I have to become more like him, and by doing so to please YHWH. I know that it is the Messiah who has initiated and is perfecting my faithful obedience. I am eternally grateful for the Spirit of the Living God who is at work in my heart and mind, transforming me baby steps at a time.
As much I never want to think on this again, I know that God burned this image of horror on my mind for a reason. Wounded hearts. Pain. Death. Murder.
Anger is just like this.