BY REV. DR. PHILIP CRAIG
Greater Springfield Community Church
Scripture: 1 Samuel 18: 7-8
Believers can learn a lot from the mistakes of King Saul during his reign, in particular at this very point of scripture. Few people in scriptures exhibited as much anger as did King Saul in the manner he exhibited toward David at this moment.
Saul’s anger seemed to have erupted when David has returned from battle and the women greeted him with a song singing, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” This made Saul exceedingly angry and in his displeasure, he did all he could to try to destroy David. However, when none of Saul’s schemes worked, he attempted to kill David—but David slipped away. From that point on, Saul became obsessive in his pursuit to kill David and chased him for more than 10 years.
Allow me to remind you that God’s word forbids such an ungodly anger. When we look at Saul’s life, we see the effects of anger. Anger damages emotional health and well-being. Anger hampers spiritual growth and witness. Anger will make you lose focus on the prize. Saul went from focusing on his purpose from God to his personal mission in capturing and killing David.
Anger is often morphed from fear, pain, hurt and frustration. Some people become angry simply from the fear of uncertainty, fear of losing a job or fear of failure. Others become angry when they are hurt by family, friends, relationships and even church experiences. The long-term physical effects of uncontrolled anger include increased anxiety, high blood pressure and headache. Anger is a positive and useful emotion, if it is expressed appropriately.
There are three types of anger:
1. Passive Anger. This doesn’t always come across as anger and can be difficult to identify.
2. Overwhelmed Anger: This is caused by life demands that are too much for an individual, making it difficult for them to cope.
3. Self-inflicted Anger: This is directed toward the self and may be caused by feelings of guilt.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul mentions, “Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. If you’re going to be angry about something, then direct your anger to things that are evil. When people are angry, they suffer, they are miserable, they are hurting and they can become hurtful.”
David had every right to be angry just like Saul because Saul tricked him, turned his back on him and tried to kill him. But one thing David knew that Saul did not was that any time God requires us to face trials and tribulations, He always provided the courage to meet the demand. David was a man of great courage. Not merely human courage, but courage rooted in the sovereignty of God.
When you decide to drop your anger and walk in the sovereign courage of the Lord, a few things happen. First and foremost, you don’t have fear and defeat is never an option. Secondly, courage is a result of having the right attitude and, lastly, courageous people look to God and trust His guidance. We live in a world where so many things can make us angry, but angry people typically never become successful in life. Be a success and do not fall into the traps of anger, unless it’s against sin. God Bless!
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Email Pastor Craig at Phil.firstname.lastname@example.org