Express Anger Appropriately


“And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink.’ So Moses took the rod from before the LORD, just as He had commanded him; and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, ‘Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?’ Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank. But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.’” Numbers 20:7-12


Moses was rightfully angry at the Hebrew people. They griped and complained at every turn, and continually turned away from the Lord. Yet again they needed water, and yet again they didn’t trust God for it. Nevertheless, God was willing to meet their needs one more time, and he gave specific instructions to Moses.


Moses, however, let his anger control him, instead of the other way around. And as a result, he himself would never see the Promised Land. From Moses’ example, we see that when we are angry, we should:


Honor the LORD. Anger tends to make us very self-focused. Even if you have “righteous indignation,” keep your eyes off yourself and on God.


Watch your tongue. You can positively hear Moses’ scathing voice, “Listen now, you rebels!” Regardless of how angry you are, don’t throw around insults and epithets.


Control your actions. When you are fit to bursting, you want to lash out. Sometimes a physical expression of anger may be appropriate, but most of the time it isn’t. While you should not internalize your anger, you should control your outward expressions of it.


How do you express anger? Are you in line with Scripture with what you do and say?

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