November 19, 2011

A New Emotion.

It's crazy.
Since a year ago, my life has done a complete 180.
I'm going to try my best to explain it; While attending this Bible college since September, God has placed me in specific situations with specific people for specific reasons.
I believe that in both preparation AND as a result of this current escapade, God has given me an emotion I have never experienced before.

He has given me: a righteous anger.

It's insane. It's like nothing I have ever felt before! It makes being a Christian 10x harder than before, but at the same time it makes being a Christian 10x easier than before. I know, impossible to explain, right?
But bear with me here. First of all, righteous anger is different from normal anger:

Righteous anger: makes you desire for people to feel convicted of their sin, that they will realize their sin, and repent of it. It allows you to express the Fruits of the Spirit (found in Galatians 5:22) towards those who are sinning. It also causes you to handle conflict in a Biblical manner.

Sinful Anger: makes you desire for the person who is sinning to get-what-they-deserve and suffer for it because we feel like we are better than them. Sinful anger makes you uncontrollable in your actions, and causes you to act just the opposite of the Fruits of the Spirit.

Lately I've been feeling like David in Psalm 139:19-22, crying out to God saying:

"God, I wish you would kill the wicked!
Get away from me, you murderers!
They say evil things about you.
Your enemies use your name thoughtlessly.
Lord, I hate those who hate you;
I hate those who rise up against you.
I feel only hate for them."

I believe that by how much I have grown in my faith within the past two or so years, I just better understand what it really means to be a Christian. I now understand that if you really love God, you need to give EVERYTHING up for him, and that as Christians we must "turn from [our] selfish ways, take up [our] crosses, and follow God daily" (Matthew 16:24). I don't understand fully (this is an impossible feat.), but I understand better the seriousness,power, and wrath of God. God isn't just some friendly old man sitting on a chair in the sky, floating around amidst the clouds. He is SO powerful and JUST.

And when the time comes, we will be judged for everything we do and every word we say."But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned," (Matt. 12:36).

With this righteous anger I have just become so intolerant of so many things. I hate drunkenness, gossiping (I definitely need to write a blog entry on this one alone!!), sexual immorality, boasting, and disrespect along with many other things.

It's so crazy. I used to be completely tolerant of these things. It's not like I preferred or adored them, I just didn't get upset over them. I just thought, "hey, if they're living like that, it's all good, because I wanna live that way too. And yes, I'm aware that God's gonna judge me one day, but that day is not today; therefore, I can do these things now and ask for forgiveness later." Ugh. This mindset sickens me. And this pertains to how having righteous anger makes living the Christian life easier than before, because it makes me not to do the things I used to do!

But experiencing righteous anger frightens me a little and makes it harder to be a Christian, because I feel it could potentially cause me to become prideful. I can see it making me feel like I am better than the person who is sinning, as if I am a "better Christian" than they are. I do not want for this because pride is the very thing I despise, and I definitely am not a better Christian than anyone. Not at all. 

This new emotion is a tricky, confusing thing. I mean, where do you draw the line on seeing someone's sin and becoming angry about their sin, without judging them on their sin? Because the Bible clearly tells us in Romans 2:1: "therefore, you have no excuse, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things."
I just get so confused...I don't know how to be concerned about someone's sin without potentially judging them for it. It is especially at this hair-pulling point when I need to but God back into the equation.

I need to be in constant prayer with Him so that He can keep my righteous anger from possibly transforming into a sinful anger.
I need to forgive those who I see have sinned and just learn to love them. I must love those EGR people (extra-grace-required people). I need to love how Jesus loved. Sigh, it is so hard, and I cannot do it on my own. Only with God's strength can I love those whom I find to be the unlovable. (I am now hoping that I am not somebody's unlovable person...ha) I pray that if there is somebody I need to confront, that God would make this known to me and would strengthen me to do so.

God, thank you for this emotion you have given me. I pray that you will strengthen me to use this passion in the right way FOR you, rather than in the sinful way AGAINST you. Help me to love like you love, unconditionally. Don't let me ever to be tolerant of the sins I once was tolerant of, keep me in this righteous anger for You.

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