Sitting with the Shepherd
And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, (2 Timothy 2:24 NKJV)
A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalms 27:1 NKJV)
I have heard it said that anger is a secondary emotion which is rooted in fear. It is given to us by God as a defense mechanism. When we become angry our senses are alerted, our adrenaline level rises, and we brace ourselves for whatever perceived danger we are facing in a concerted effort to protect ourselves. King David knew fear. He faced lions and bears, a giant named Goliath, and a mad spear throwing king who was trying to kill him. So there were definitely times in his life as there are in ours when he needed to talk himself through the danger and muster up the courage to move forward. Thus the opening verse of Psalm 27 gives us a glimpse of David's human frailty, even though he was a decorated war hero.
Courage in the face of dangerous opposition is a requirement for the servant of the Lord according to the Apostle Paul. When the man or woman of God is confident in the Lords ability to protect them, they are able to avoid an angry reaction to danger and instead be gentle as Jesus Himself was.
In dealing with people who have been hurt or even traumatized in their past we will often have to incur their wrath. When this happens we will feel threatened even though we are not the real reason for their anger. When Jesus was verbally assaulted in His innocence He never retaliated or took it personally. Instead He viewed the attack as a desperate cry for help.
We as servants of the Lord must do the same thing if we are to get past the pain and antisocial behavior, and minister to the deep pain in someone's heart. Gentleness is imperative, as a soft word turns aside wrath. Patience is required because we are trusting in and waiting upon the Holy Spirit to grant healing and bring repentance. In essence we must not be easily offended but willing to get our flesh out of the way in order to truly allow Christ to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free through us.
"THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE HAS ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR; HE HAS SENT ME TO HEAL THE BROKENHEARTED, TO PROCLAIM LIBERTY TO THE CAPTIVES AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET AT LIBERTY THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED; (Luke 4:18 NKJV)
Questions for Personal Reflection or Discussion
1. In what way is the God given emotion of anger an asset to us when exercised properly?
2. What enables us to avoid an angry response to another person's anger?
3. Which fruits of the Spirit are especially necessary in ministering to the deeper issues of a person's heart?
Father in heaven, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ to minister to the brokenhearted and set the captives free. I confess that too often I am easily offended and take an angry person's anger personally. Empower me by Your grace to put self aside and have the courage to speak life and truth into the hearts of hurting people. You alone are the Great Physician and You alone can bring the healing to damaged emotions that no one else can. Empty me of self that I may be filled by Your Spirit and used as a vessel of mercy in Your Kingdom for Your glory honor and praise. Amen