Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah (Psalm 4:4 ESV)
King David had many times of distress and often wrote Psalms during these times. Psalm 4 is one of them. It is through these Psalms that we learn much about how to deal with our own distress. In this particular Psalm David considers anger and how dangerous it can be. Being angry is not necessarily a sin, but it is easy to let anger lead you to sin. In light of this, David urges you to separate the two. Be angry, and do not sin. How? By pondering in your own hearts on your beds, that is, in a time of prayer. This is not our natural reaction. We tend to react. We lash out at the one who made us angry. We yell, take from them, or try and hurt them. Or, if we can’t react towards the person with whom we are angry, we talk about that person to others. We gossip instead. Holding things inside isn’t a good option at all. That’s like trying to hold in a coke bottle that’s been shaken up. It’s ready to explode. Instead David learned that it is better to take your anger to the Lord and be silent before people.
There is logic in this too. The Lord is judge and acts on behalf of his people. If you go to others with your anger, you are forcing them into a position in which only a judge rightfully should be. There are exceptions, of course. Parents are often the right ones to take your anger to since they are in a position to make judgments with regard to their children. So don’t react when anger. Take a moment and be silent. Pray about it. Ponder in your OWN heart so that you are not reacting. And take it to the right judge.
What do you do when you get angry with someone? Do you react or do you stop to ponder it in your own heart?
Ask God to help you handle your anger in the right way.
McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: 2 Sa 15, 2 Co 8, Ez 22, Ps 3-4