Most everyone would agree that we live in a world full of angry people. These people are from all walks of life and ethnicities and social standing. People who don’t attend church are angry. But people who do attend church are also angry. Maybe you are one of the angry people. Sadly, the anger in people plays out every day in violence, hatred, murder, divorce, severed friendships and more. Anger can get its hooks into any of us and try to control us. Anger is one of the devil’s tools that keep us from experiencing the kind of life God wants for us. When we talk about anger, there is a law of denial at work. People don’t want to admit that they have anger issues. Maybe you are one of those people who doesn’t want to admit your anger.
Proverbs 25:28, 29:11, 29:22; Matthew 6:14-15, Mark 3:5, Luke 6:11, 15:28; Ephesians 4:26-27; James 1:19b-20
If you cannot control your anger, you are as helpless as a city without walls, open to attack. Proverbs 25:28 Fools are quick to express their anger, but wise people are patient and control themselves. Proverbs 29:11 An angry person causes trouble; a person with a quick temper sins a lot. Proverbs 29:22
Of all the human emotions, anger is one of the most complex and challenging. It is complex because anger will surface at the strangest times, for the strangest reasons and show itself in the strangest ways. It is challenging because if not handled properly anger can be a dangerous and destructive emotion. It can hurt us physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually. We should never forget that there is a high price tag for handling anger the wrong way. The Bible tells us, and we know by experience, that people who can’t control their anger have a real problem. Most people have their own routine for handling the emotion of anger. They may scream, punch the pillow, kick the dog, drive too fast or drink too much. We all do something to deal with our anger whether right or wrong. Fortunately, God has a plan for taming our anger. Not for getting rid of our anger but for taming it. It isn’t God’s plan to eliminate our ability to get angry because anger, in and of itself, isn’t wrong! It all depends on what makes us angry and what we do with our anger. Why we get angry and how we express it determines if it is good or bad anger, healthy or unhealthy anger. Anger that is managed correctly can be an asset and not a liability. Anger isn’t something we can avoid but it is something God says we can learn to control.
Have you ever struggled with anger issues? Do you think people get less angry as they grow older? What have you tried to do to handle the emotion of anger? Did you live in an “angry” home? If so, how did you cope with that? Who do you think was one of the most-angry Bible characters? How would you describe “righteous” anger? What do you think the Bible means when it says, “Be slow to anger.”? What makes you more angry; very poor service in a restaurant or crazy drivers on the interstate?
The next time you are starting to get angry, stop and take a moment to try to define why you are getting angry. When you come to grips with why you are becoming angry, you will have a better perspective on how to pray and ask God to help you defeat that anger in your life.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me no matter what emotion I’m experiencing in my life. I know that my anger will only get harder to deal with if I don’t turn it over to you today. Please help me surrender the anger that is hurting me and those I love and care for. I pray that your Holy Spirit will take control of my spirit so that I can live free from anger that is not in accord with your will for me. I love you dear Jesus and want to honor you through all my thoughts and actions. Amen.