THE “WRATH” & LOVE OF GOD


O Lord, rebuke me not in Your anger, nor chasten me in Your wrath. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak.” (Ps 6: 1-2, Septuagint-translation)

I get most angry about/with those people and those things that I most love. “Hell hath no fury,” as it’s said, as do I, when disappointed with a something or someone that I love very much. But when I remember this, that my outburst of anger is just a twisted expression of my love, (especially when my love feels powerless), I can “harness” it or reign it in, by God’s grace, into an outburst of proper love. And I need to do that, because my anger, if I remain in it, is always unproductive, or a descent into unproductiveness, while true love is always creative and life-bringing. “For the anger of a man does not produce the righteousness of God,” as St. James reminds us (James 1:20).

But God’s “anger” or “wrath” is not like ours. There is no “change” in His true love for us, no descent into unproductiveness, even in His “wrath” at our screw-ups. Because God is unchangeable. That’s why we speak with Him, in the words of the Psalm quoted above, as to One Who is both angered and loving. Today if I am angry, let me let God transfigure my unproductive anger into His life-affirming love, “for I am weak”! Thank You, God, for loving us enough to be “angry” with us, and save us by Your grace-filled love.

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