Daily D – Job 32:1-5
Job 32:1-5 Job’s three friends refused to reply further to him because he kept insisting on his innocence. Then Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the clan of Ram, became angry. He was angry because Job refused to admit that he had sinned and that God was right in punishing him. He was also angry with Job’s three friends, for they made God appear to be wrong by their inability to answer Job’s arguments. Elihu had waited for the others to speak to Job because they were older than he. But when he saw that they had no further reply, he spoke out angrily. (NLT)
Anger is a powerful motivator. It empowers our reason. It strengthens our resolve. It gains might as we nurture its spark into full flame. It burns as it turns into speech. It destroys relationships. It terminates opportunities. It ruins everything with one click beyond restoration into wrath.
The prior paragraph might be biographical. Actually, let’s call it what it is. It was autobiographical. I was ticked off recently. I began a text message with a few words chosen with precision. They would hit the target hard.
Then anger began a low boil inside me. I deleted the first text and added a little oomph!
Anger really got on a roll then. A masterpiece of a pointed and powerful message sat fully formed and ready to send.
I was just. I was righteous. I was ready to obliterate a relationship. That’s when I realized how wrong I was.
One of my favorite questions is, “What does this make possible?” The only answer to this question regarding the text that was so carefully composed and alluringly anxious to give full release of my well-targeted wrath was a deep and lingering wound that may well have proved fatal to the relationship.
I don’t know if you have ever held a ticking time bomb in your hands, but I have. The DELETE key is often my best friend. It reminds me how it is never too early to shut up. It reminds me how some words and their impact can never be taken away, never be healed this side of heaven.
Hours after deleting the best text I would have ever regretted, I enjoyed a gathering where my earlier target was used by God to bless my soul.
Every time I read these chapters in Job featuring a young man who was smarter than God and wiser than wisdom, I want to place my arm around his shoulders and help him learn how to watch, wait, listen, and learn as God works out his will his way in his timing without any expression of our wrath to get it done.
Anger can drive us toward justice. Wrath drives us into a ditch, off a cliff, and into the ocean of our foolishness.
Learn to love the DELETE key. Use it every time anger exceeds its helpful bounds. Trust me when I tell you what it makes possible is infinitely better than what wrath offers.
I will esteem the DELETE key over wrath every time.
Our Father, thank you for delivering me from disaster. Please always deliver me from disasters of my own making. Keep me focused on helpfulness and not hatefulness. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”