By Lendy Borden: Abundant Life Church
You know everybody gets angry from time to time. There are a lot of reasons for our anger: somebody says or does something to hurt or offend us, an injustice is done, or sometimes it’s just plain old stupidity.
Whatever the reason for our anger, we need to understand that it is a common emotional feeling that happens to everyone. Even God gets angry. Look at Psalm 30:5. It says, “For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime.” Now before we go any further, please know that because of Jesus, His anger is filtered. God does not send plagues and calamities on us to punish us.
Even Jesus acted in anger on at least one occasion. During His last week on earth, after returning to Jerusalem, Jesus went into the temple to find that it had been overrun with merchants. Matthew 21:12-13 tells us “Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. He said, ‘It is written that My house will be called a house of prayer but you are making it a den of robbers.’”
We need to accept the fact a that we will occasionally get angry. Sometimes this is bad about sometimes it is good like when Jesus cleared out the temple. What we need to understand is that we must deal with our anger in an appropriate manner. If we let it get the best of us, we’re going to cause lots of problems and maybe destroy or life. If we keep it all trapped inside, then it’s going to come out in unexpected ways at inopportune times.
More importantly, anger that’s not dealt with in an appropriate manner will produce hardness in our heart. When we allow our hearts to harden, we lose our love and compassion for those around us. We become more stubborn and stiff-necked, which makes it very difficult for God to work in our lives and bless us.
The overriding theme about anger in the Bible is that God is slow to anger and abounding in love. This is repeated several times throughout scripture (i.e. Psalm 86:15). If we are to become more like Him, then we need to take on this characteristic about being slow to anger and abounding in love.
Probably the greatest truth we can learn about anger is found in Ephesians 4:26-27. It teaches us, “In your anger do no sin. Do no let the sun go down while you are still angry and do no give the devil a foothold.” We need to be self-controlled with our anger and the best way to do that involves at least three steps:
1) Forgiveness—Mark 11:25 teaches that we need to forgive those around us so God my forgive us. Our anger is often caused by or at least blamed on others. We have to forgive those who we associate with our anger.
2) Casting Over Our Problems—After we forgive, we have to let go of the problem that has caused the anger. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast our cares on Him. This means let go and let God be in control. There’s not often a lot we can do to change a situation or person, but God can. If we continue to hold on to it, it will eat away at us form the inside out just like rust on metal.
3) Take Action Based on Wisdom—Usually, there will need to be some type of response to what has brought our anger. It may be we need to keep our mouths shut and turn the other cheek, or we may need to take corrective steps. Our nation’s forfathers took extreme action to right the injustice imposed on the colonies by England. Without their action based on wisdom, we might still be governed by the queen. Just remember that the action taken MUST be directed by His wisdom.
The next time you get angry, deal with it. Not in a way that’s going to cause further anger and destruction, but in a way that will bring peace and resolution to the problem. God’s way is always the best way.