We’ve all experienced it… anger. We’ve all been on the receiving end of it, and we’ve all had times we wish we could undo because of it. What does it really mean to manage our anger and emotions? Should we even get angry? Is that a sin? How do we deal with this ever so present emotion when it rears its head?
God has a lot to say about the subject of anger. He knows we are emotional beings that displace our emotions often. We often get angry when we are really hurt, embarrassed, or feel confused. Thank Him for His grace!
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”—Ephesians 4:26-27
As Believers we do not lose our emotions when we accept Christ into our hearts, but we know He equips us and purifies our thoughts. We should check our attitudes as well as our motives before becoming angry with others. How do we do this? Pray! Pray and ask God what He desires from you in the situation. Pray that He breaks down any walls and shines His light on any darkness in your heart so you can forgive and love.
Paul gives us some solid direction on the approach we should take…
“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”—Romans 12:19-21
The Lord’s ways are not our ways. He is turning the world upside down, spreading His love and mercy out on all of us, who are undeserving. It seems against our human nature to not only forgive our offenders, but to actually care for them in humility and love. This is the amazing Good News of God’s truth! He did this for us, forgiving us when we were still offenders. What a testimony of God’s love this is, that we can love and forgive when we may be justified by the world to be angry.
Jesus saw the sin of the world, and He was angered and grieved. This gives us a glimpse into how we can be angry but not sin. When there are injustices in the world, God is grieved. When we see injustices, are we brought to grief? Or are we tempted to take the opportunity to revenge and set things right as we see fit? This is a difference of being angry and grieved by the sin and not the person committing the sin.
When we hold on to anger, bitterness grows in our hearts. Bitterness only produces rotten fruit. The book of Proverbs contains many wise words for us to consider as we look at anger.
- “A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.”—Proverbs 15:1
- “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”—Proverbs 19:1
Managing anger will be harder for some than others. Ask the Lord to show you where you have struggled with anger. Know that God is faithful to forgive. Ask Him for forgiveness and from the one you offended. We can be passionate for what God stands for, and grieve for what is offensive to Him. Ask Him to transform your heart and renew your mind continually; that you speak from the new heart He has given you through Christ. He desires to work through you to change the broken world. Sometimes He wants us to sit and soak up His grace, so we can have a calm heart ready to reach out to others. We would love to pray with you regarding this issue. Please reach out to us [HERE] for more information about our online prayer ministry.