March 28, 2012

Provoked to Anger

Yesterday we were reflecting on Mark Chapter 3.  Today I want to pause and do a bit deeper so that we truly understand there is a difference between being provoked to anger and giving into to the lust of getting angry.  Remember, these people were attempting to trap Jesus.  They were scheming, crouching and waiting for an opportunity to pounce.  We have all been in that position, but none of us have been in Christ's blameless position.  (We need to remember that and extend mercy more often.)

As I have studies, and prayerfully considered Marks storyline the intent of individuals has been raising red flags all over the place for me.  Which lead me to go back into proverbs as well as Ephesians to reconsider my knowledge of getting angry yet not sinning.  Let's look at these verses:

Proverbs 14: 29-30 He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.  A tranquil heart is life to the body, but passion is rottenness to the bones.

Proverbs 22:24,25 Do not associate with a man given to anger, or go with a hot-tempered man, lest you learn his ways and find a snare for yourself.

Ephesians 4:22-26 You were taught to change the way you were living.  The person you used to be will ruin you through desires that deceive you.  However, you were taught to have a new attitude.  You were also taught to become a new person created to be like God, truly righteous and holy.  So then, get rid of lies.  Speak the truth to each other, because we are all member of the same body.  Be angry without sinning. Don't go to be angry.  Don't give the devil any opportunity to work, thieves must quit stealing and instead, they must work hard.  They should do something good with their hands so that they'll have something to share with those in need.  Don't say anything that would hurt another person.  Instead speak only what is good so that you can give help whenever it is needed.  That way, what you say will help those who hear you.  Don't give God's Holy Spirit any reason to be upset with you.  He has put his seal on you for the day you will be set free from the world of sin.  Get rid of your bitterness, hot tempers, anger, loud quarreling, cursing and hatred.  Be kind to each other, sympathetic, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you through Christ.
After looking up the definitions of the Hebrew and Greek words dealing with anger / angry in these passages I really got it this time:

When we are not walking in total submission to the Holy Spirit we undoubtedly will fall prey to the snares of our unrighteous emotions.  This does grieve the Holy Spirit, but the main reason is due to how our angry display is going to misguide the lost who is in desperate need of what we are supposed to be leading them into.  How can we lead them away from danger when we ourselves cannot align ourselves under pressure. 

If we are associating with people who habitually are uncooperative and unforgiving we will have no peace due to the stress they are continually placing on us.  We were not put in place to save people, we must lead them.  It is up to them to follow.  We have other business which we must not tarry with.  God will bring others across their path; continually.  He cares about them more than is "humanly" possible - so move along child =D

As Mark closes chapter 3 for us we see that the news was exploding, people from everywhere were clamoring to touch Jesus and be healed.  The masses were crushing in on Jesus.  When ever people with evil spirits saw Him, they would fall down in front of Him and shout, "You are the Son of God."  Yet Jesus still was giving them orders to tell no one who He was.  Again, could the masses hear them? 

We see Jesus finally getting away from everyone somehow.  But He did call those He wanted with Him to come along up the mountain.  There He appointed the 12 calling them apostles.  These were the ones who were to accompany Him and be sent out to spread the Good News and were given authority to force demons out of people.

THEN Jesus went home Mark says.  I bet Jesus was utterly exhausted and anticipating the comforts of home. But guess what, that didn't happen.  What did happen was the crowds were bad that Jesus and his disciples could not even eat.  If I had of made it this far, there is not much doubt that with my blood sugar crashing and all things pressing down on me I would have given in to my anger in the midst of that awful crowd and rightfully angered the Holy Spirit.  But wait there's more......

Christ's own family, started saying "He's out of his mind!" Then the scribes launch their torpedo "Beezlzebul is in him".....and And AND "He forces demons out of people with the help of the ruler of demons!"  CLANK! CRASH! OUCH! OOOF! SPLAT! (translated, that would have been it for me; I would be defeated).  But not our Christ........He called the people together and told them a story. 

WOW; how mighty is the power of our God.  He is so compassionate, patient, loving, merciful, gentle, graceful.  Tomorrow we will discuss Jesus' story within Marks story being told.

I'm excited, what about you?  So cling to this storyline when there are provokers, mocker, naysayers all about you.  And though they stir up your anger, remember to love them - we must love our enemies not hate them.  Have compassion on them, attempt to tell them the truth.  You don't have to save them, even stick around them afterward; that is the Holy Spirits job.  Have pity on them, after all they DO have to stick around themselves after-the-fact.

With a heart full of love for you,

©Candace Huffmaster 2012, All Copyrights Reserved
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