When I think of anger, I usually think of a red face and bulging neck veins. But anger is much sneakier than that. It disguises itself in frustration, impatience and irritability. If I am having a bit of a short-fused day, I think to myself, “I’m not angry, I’m just a little irritable.” And then the worst part comes… I try to validate my emotions.
I say to myself, “I have a right to be this way. The kids won’t listen.” Or, “What he did was so infuriating! Of course I am going to react this way when he does those things!”
When we believe we are valid in our anger, we are believing the enemy’s lie.
Human anger is not something God wanted for us, he envisions so much more. Our God is a God of peace, patience and joy. Here are 4 things God wants us to know about anger:
- It’s Not Righteous
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” James 1:19-20.
The definition of righteous is something morally right or justifiable. Another defines righteousness as something good. God says anger does not produce righteousness – so it will never bear good fruit. If we want to live a blessed life, we must take this scripture seriously.
- We Should Never Vent It
“Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.” Proverbs 29:11.
How many times have we been so frustrated with our spouse or a friend that we called up another friend or parent and had a vent fest? I’m sad to admit – I’ve been guilty. We should never do this because we may say things we do not mean, or exaggerate the situation. If we need to “get things of our chest”, then we should be taking the situation to God.
- It Shouldn’t Control Us
“Don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Ephesians 4:26.
Sometimes, our emotions get the best of us and start taking control of us. We do things we would never normally do when we are angry or upset. For example, the woman who gets beaten by their spouse because he got mad? Or how about the woman who goes off and cheats on her husband because she is upset with something he has done. These are all devastating reactions to anger and happen when we let our emotions control us. But how about an everyday reaction? Swearing at someone because they cut you off while driving. Or calling your husband names while in an argument. These things may slip out as a result of an emotion. Is it worth it? Never.
- We Should Not Let it Stew
“Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” Ephesians 4:27.
The thing about anger is it can fester inside of us then grow into something bigger than it should be. If we let it stew and boil, we are giving Satan an opportunity to feed it and tell us his lies. He tells us we are justified in feeling the way we do and we need to do something about our anger. He tells us we should teach the person who made us angry a lesson. Instead, seek a resolution as soon as possible. It may be appropriate to take a cool off moment before speaking about the situation, but don’t let it fester inside of you. Give it to God and always get help if necessary.
I am so grateful there is hope in all of this. Anger may be something that is not good, but it can be used for good in the right circumstances. Those circumstances would be if we let anger serve as a warning light that something is off in our relationship with God. If we take our angry feelings, give them up to God and go to Him in prayer, then we can allow Him to transform our anger into His peace.
Prayer: Father, please help me in the times I am feeling angry to lean on You so You may fill me with your peace. Please help me not to react and act poorly. I want to be a woman after your heart, please continue to mold me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Discussion: How have you learned to deal with anger over the years? Please share in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!
This post is part of my series for April called “Evolving Emotionally”. We will be spending the month of April taking an emotion and seeing what God has to say about it. Join us on Tuesdays and Fridays as we go on the journey of emotions together. To see previous posts in Evolving Emotionally click here. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe via email!