by Harold and Bette Gillogly
ANGER – Turn on the news. Venture into the caustic world of social media. It’s everywhere! People are angry…some for very good reasons. And some for very bad reasons.
Anger is a tricky emotion, that’s why the Scriptures say a lot about it. Take a look at Ephesians 4:26 through 5:2 and you’ll learn a bunch in just these few verses. Verse 26 alone declares three truths you don’t want to miss about anger.
- We are warned to not let anger CONTROL us because that is SIN. Even anger that starts out righteous – you know, like anger at injustice – can turn into sinful anger if you let it control you. You chew on it. It’s all you can think about. You react by retaliating against such injustice. You’ve let anger control you and you say and do hurtful things. This is what we’ve been watching the last few weeks on a grand scale. However, we can do a lot of harm in our own homes by lashing out at our spouse or kids when we feel they have treated us unjustly. When we let anger control us, we can do some serious harm to our family and to our own souls.
- Don’t let anger fester. Handle it quickly. Otherwise it gets really nasty. When we let anger settle-in to our hearts, it curdles into bitterness. Bitterness, in turn, grabs hold of our whole being and turns us into bitter, resentful, always-ready-to-be-offended people. That’s why God wants us to handle our anger quickly, before it beats us up. This is hard to do. We kind of like chewing on our anger, don’t we? It makes us feel so justified and self-righteous about being wronged. Don’t do it! If you want peace instead of turmoil and joy instead of bitterness, then you’ll agree with God’s instruction and go to the person you are angry with and reconcile quickly.
- Anger gives the devil a foothold in our lives. The evil one loves to see our anger curdle into bitterness. He loves to see it grab hold of us and make us the kind of people who are more useful to him than to God. He loves to see us miserable because that’s all part of his plan to destroy us. So when we hold on to our anger, we are actually partnering with the devil for our own destruction. Now, that’s just not smart, is it? Open your eyes! Understand what the evil one is trying to accomplish. Don’t let him get a foothold in your life!
Here are even more truths about anger:
- 29 – Anger loosens our foul and abusive tongues. It makes us say stuff we’d be embarrassed for the folks at church to hear us say. But somehow, we feel we have the freedom to spew words that would peel paint at the person we’re mad at. WE DON’T! God says that “everything we say should be good, helpful and encouraging to those who hear them.” Even when we are angry. When we use foul and abusive language at anyone, it eats away at our own souls. It diminishes ourselves. God wants to lift us up, not put us down. And He wants us to pass it on.
- 30 – Our anger brings sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit. We cause our God great pain when we let anger control us. We dishonor Him. Back in Ephesians chapter 1, the Holy Spirit through Paul reminds us that we have all the power it took to raise Christ from the dead at our disposal because that Power – Christ Himself – lives INSIDE us. So when we keep on sinning by letting anger control us, we are not only ignoring that power, we are disdaining it – pushing it aside like it means nothing.
- 31 – Get Rid of anger and all it produces. So we are commanded – get that? COMMANDED – to get rid of ALL bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, slander and all evil, malicious behavior. That’s quite a list, isn’t it? It sums up our feelings, our attitudes, and our behavior when we allow anger to control us. We can become someone we don’t even want to be. No wonder God says, “GET RID of these things!” Don’t allow them to be WHO YOU ARE!
- V32 – Instead be like the One Who lives inside you – Jesus. Kind, tenderhearted and forgiving, for that’s how God the Father treats you because Jesus died to free you from all your sin, including anger.
- 5:1-2 – Imitate God. Follow the example of Christ. Imitate the Father in everything you do because you are His dear child and He loves you more than you could ever know. And because He loves you that much, you can “Live a life filled with love,” instead of a life filled with anger. You can “follow the example of Christ” because He sacrificed Himself for you. He paid for your freedom from anger and you can walk in that freedom and live a life that looks a lot like His. Full of love and kindness, tenderheartedness and forgiveness.
So there you have it. Eight truths about Anger that can change your life, as well as the lives of the other people in your family. Now you have a choice. Will you believe them? Will you act on that belief and do what they say? That’s when they will change you! And remember, all the power that it took to raise Christ from the dead lives inside you. That’s the power to change!
To find out more about being set free from your anger, read our free articles “Well, What Did You Expect?” Part 1 and Part 2 (https://marriages.net/well-what-did-you-expect-pt-1-of-2/ and (https://marriages.net/well-what-did-you-expect-pt-2-of-2/). We also encourage you to watch our free webinar “How to Handle Anger: Ways that Don’t Work.” If you are really serious about dealing with your anger, we invite you to visit our store and get our complete “Anger and Conflict” Webinar series.