Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Managing Anger

One of the great problems with anger is that there are people and situations that seem to deserve it. And in certain cases, this is correct. You see, the Christian approach to the world is not, “It is all just a misunderstanding.” It does not say, “We are all good people deep down, and if we could just see it, we would get along.” Rather, it says that we are all sinners, who follow our own paths rather than God’s (Romans 3:23; Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 64:6). And one of the problems with sinners is that sinners sin. It is useless to sugarcoat it or try to excuse it. Human beings do things that are really inexcusable. And God commands us to forgive them anyway (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13; Matthew 18:23-35).

Now we need to realize that sin really does deserve the wrath of God (Romans 1:18; Ephesians 5:6; John 3:36). Including our sins (Ephesians 2:3; Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:9). Let us not mince words here. It is easy to say that, based on what that person did, they really deserve to have me mad at them. And maybe they do. I really deserve to have God mad at me. But He forgives me (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Acts 13:38,39). However, it is often hard to remember this on the spur of the moment, so we need to constantly remind ourselves of who we are and what God has done for us.

One of the things that can help with this is to slow down and not be too quick to act on our first impulse. This involves restraining our anger instead of just letting it loose (Proverbs 12:16; 14:17; 16:32). Further, we should consider our words and pass over offences (Proverbs 15:1; 19:11; 29:8). Often it is good, if we have the opportunity, to stop and consider what we want to say before we say it. Sometimes not saying anything is the best option (Proverbs 11:12; 17:28; 21:23). I have a tendency toward foot –in-mouth disease. If I am not careful I, can say the wrong thing without thinking. Also, to do these things we need the power of the Spirit of God working in our lives (2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 2:13; Galatians 5:16). But to put this in perspective, we need to remember God’s love and compassion even for those who deserve wrath. There may be a point for asking whether the other person may not be as bad as we think they are. But even if they are, we need to keep our anger in check. For God forgives, not just the excusable, but the inexcusable (1 Timothy 1:8-16; 1 Corinthians 15:9.10; 2 Samuel 12:13).

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