Anger’s Major Motivator

Yesterday I asked you to consider the true motivation behind the emotion of anger. I think I know the answer.

We get angry because we think we’re too important.

Don’t get me wrong. You are important. I hope you know that God loves you and that you matter a great deal to Him (and to us). But there’s a huge difference between understanding your significance and secretly thinking you are the center of the universe.

Paul said it this way:

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you” (Romans 12:3).

I also like how he puts it in Philippians 2:3:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

Put these verses together and you get this formula: Don’t think of yourself too highly + See yourself as God sees you + Think of others before thinking of yourself. I believe the outcome of this formula is a girl who is able to keep Anger at bay.

Think about it. When was the last time you got angry? Were you mad at your parents because you didn’t like their rules? What if you had considered yourself as God sees you-a sinner who needs to learn about submission to Him through human relationships and then considered your parents needs ahead of your own? How would that have changed your heart and ultimately your behavior?

What if it’s your friends who really tick you off? Why is that, exactly? Is it because you want to be able to make the rules about how they act, think, and feel? What if you made the choice to see them as God sees them and to consider their needs first before demanding that they be the kind of friend you need? Would your anger soften?

Is it your teachers who make you mad? What if instead of secretly stewing through math class you chose to read what God says about speaking with kindness? Have you ever thought about the fact that your teacher needs to receive respect and kindness from you as much as you’d like to receive it from her?

You see everyone knows that Anger is bad. He’s the poster child for dangerous emotions. But I think he’s just the thug. The mastermind behind our anger is our own selfishness. We will continue to be easily angered until we get a firm grasp on how God sees us and how He calls us to treat the people around us.

Maybe you’ve been battling the wrong beast. Maybe you’ve been fighting off anger while selfishness made his lair in your heart. Take it to Jesus. Ask Him to do a transforming work in your heart. Give Him permission to do battle with the monsters that may be lurking in the closet of your heart.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness (James 3:13–19).

About Author

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

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