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  • Writer's pictureBarbie Durham

Is it Right for You to be Angry?

God asked Jonah this question in Jonah 4:4 and it is a valid question for the Lord to ask each one of us.

What are you angry about? Do you feel justified in your anger?

Jonah absolutely felt justified in his anger. He felt like an idiot walking around telling people that in 40 days their city would be destroyed only to have God relent and change his mind.

Jonah had seen God switch it up before and that was the whole reason why he didn’t want to go to Ninevah in the first place.

How difficult to be God’s spokesman and yet have a strong opinion on how things should go down.

Jonah was of the mindset, you do the crime, you do the time.

But God was of the mindset recorded in Jonah 4:3, “You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”

We were talking about 120,000 people repenting and turning back to God because of Jonah’s message.

God was giving them a second chance because of their response, but Jonah was not having it.

He’d rather die than feel this heavy burden of watching people go free when he felt punishment was justified. He chose to sit outside the city and watch from a distance until destruction fell on them.

Have you ever felt that way?

You’re sitting in darkness with a brooding, burning anger in your spirit wanting nothing more than for God to bring punishment and destruction to the one who hurt you.

Some call it karma. Some call it vindication. Some call it you reap what you sow.

What if God came to you with the same question after receiving this person’s repentance from their offense against you.

Is it right for you to be angry?

Oh, it is so hard to relinquish our opinion to the all knowing compassionate and gracious God who is slow to anger and relents from sending calamity.

God’s justice system can be difficult for us to respond to especially when we have a strong opinion about a situation.

Jonah 4 ends abruptly and we don’t know if Jonah was able to release his anger and his desire to die.

I would venture to say that there are so many who are caught in this cycle like Jonah and will live out their entire lives reminiscing on the wrong that was done to them.

God’s justice system confounds our humanity.

In John 8:8-12 Jesus is dealing with a situation in the most unique way. Standing before Him was a woman caught in adultery which the justice system of that day said to stone her.

Jesus stoops down and starts writing something in the sand. Not sure what He wrote, but He said to everyone there, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Not one stone was thrown. Everyone’s conscience knew they all had committed sin.

The caveat in this story is the last sentence Jesus spoke to this woman, “Go and sin no more.”

A second chance was given, but there were boundaries. Do no go on continuing in this sin.

The city of Ninevah was given a second chance as well. Their repentance had to be sustained in the days and years ahead. God was watching.

God sees your pain. He sees the anger inside of you and He is all too knowing about what caused it. His compassion towards you is relentless and today He is reminding you that if you will allow His justice system to operate in your situation, He will guide you to a release from its shackles.

Anger is not an emotion to play around with. It can literally destroy your life.

I believe in you,

Love, Barbie

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