Our Wrath Doesn’t Produce God’s Righteousness 

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20)

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St Maximus the Confessor, comments on how our anger or wrath against someone who annoys us, even when a real reaction to something he/she has done, is still spiritual defeat for it leads us away from Christ’s commandments to love.

“Has your brother been an occasion of trial for you? Has your annoyance led you to hatred? Do not let yourself be defeated, but triumph over hatred by love. This is the way to do it: by praying to God sincerely for him; by accepting the excuses others make for him or by constituting yourself his defender; by taking responsibility for your trial on yourself and bearing it with courage until the cloud has lifted.

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Be careful, if you are praising the goodness and proclaiming the virtue of someone yesterday, do not disparage him today as wicked and perverse, just because your affection has turned to aversion. Do not seek by blaming your brother to justify your culpable aversion, but continue faithfully praising him, even if you are overcome with annoyance, and you will soon return to a wholesome charity.

Never wound your brother with ambiguous words lest he pay you back in your own coin, and both of you depart from sentiments of charity. But with the frankness of friendship go and reprimand him, and with the causes of trouble removed, you will both be delivered from distress and bitterness.

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A soul that nourishes hatred against anyone cannot be at peace with God . . .  ‘If you do not forgive people their trespasses,’ he says, ‘neither will your father forgive your trespasses’ (Matthew 6:14). If the other will not make peace with you, you at least for your part must guard yourself from hating him, and pray for him sincerely without speaking ill of him to anyone.

The whole purpose of our Lord’s commandments is to rescue the spirit from chaos and hatred and lead it to love of him and love of one’s neighbor. From this springs forth, like a flash of lightning, holy knowledge.   (St Maximus the ConfessorTHE ROOTS OF CHRISTIAN MYSTICISM, pp 276-277)

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For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy; yet mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13)

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