Thursday, October 1, 2009


This week I have been reading James Chapter 1 over and over. I can never read James 1:19-20 without recalling a five year old Epiphany I had one morning in front of the coffeemaker. The short version of the story is someone had wronged me. I am not easily offended yet I was over the top offended and in my mind, I was going to call the shots on this apology. No, I was not going to let this person call and run it around the block for hours. My terms were to discuss it in writing.

So I laid out my terms and they were rejected. I was furious. Why the above verse fell into my head I can only credit the Holy Spirit. For years I had quoted "let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath", but now the rest of the verse popped into my head "for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God". (Of course it was in my head in the King James Version! I am 55 years old after all! )

The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God! What exactly was my highest hope for this person. Well, I had to admit it was that they would get their life on track with God. And was my anger going to get that accomplished? No. So I didn't get my discussion in writing, but I did get an apology over the phone and my epiphany.

Why didn't I get this Epiphany sooner? I have wondered that many times. Why did I get so angry when I was raising my children? I wanted them to do what I wanted them to do because it was right, correct, the best way, etc. But was my anger a good tool to lead them to the righteousness of God? No.

Feeling angry has its' place. In Kids Have Feelings Too! by H. Norman Wright, anger is said to be a secondary emotion. Behind anger you will find one of the following:

  1. Frustration
  2. Fear
  3. Hurt

The place anger has in our lives is to clue us in to something going on inside of us. Figuring that out and fixing that through the help of God will work the righteousness of God into our lives. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for that life lesson!


  1. Regarding anger, I've always thought the science/physiology behind it is interesting. The brain chemicals released in response to infuriating stimuli last about 90 seconds in the blood stream before they're flushed and diffused out. So in addition to being aware of how God would have me feel/respond in angering situations, it also helps me to allow myself those 90 seconds, then envision those chemicals fizzling out, and realize at that point I have total control over whether I choose to entertain and feed the emotion. And from what you said, that's probably where introspection occurs to find the root of the feeling. Great blog Karen, and thanks for letting me share from my nerdy-medical side!

  2. Wow, that is interesting to know, Caitlin, because truly if those chemicals are flushed out in 90 seconds, that means that if we continue on in our outburst, rage, whatever you want to call it....we are kind of just "acting on our own". I would kind of liken this to people who are addicted to substances. You can get over the physical addiction pretty quickly and then "you are on your own" to make the correct choices. I'm not saying it is easy to reign in anger or addictions BUT with Christ, all things are possible. Thank YOU for sharing.

  3. This is something I have recently gotten a new perspective about. I mean who God is in general. People need a FATHER, not another dictator giving them another set of rules that make life mundane and dreary.

    People don't realize that giving your life to Jesus wholeheartedly, He leads you on a path through it that no one can imagine. It's filled with trial, tribulation, but also adventure and excitement and passion and is just plain amazing.

    If only I had been being taught this ten years ago. But I lived and I learned and know I now lol

  4. Julian, thanks for posting. What did you think 10 years ago about what a life of following Jesus looked like?