By Bob Zoellner
Anger is one of those subjects that probably should be talked about more often. To deny its impact on us and others can have disastrous effects.
The Bible has a lot to say on the matter, because it’s something we all deal with. It is paramount to a believer’s relationship with Christ, which makes it a pivotal matter for a believer’s mental health and the relationships in his life.
James 1:20 says that “human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
Anger is like any emotion—neither good nor bad in and of itself. The rightness or wrongness comes in how we handle those feelings.
The Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 4:26, quotes from the Psalms: “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”
Anger can be a powerful motivator in accomplishing some very good things in life, or it can be incredibly destructive. It’s all in the expression and attitude of how it’s delivered. Not dealing with the feelings of anger doesn’t make them go away; in fact, it usually has the opposite effect. They grow into something that is too hard to handle.
Paul goes on to say in Ephesians 4:27 that we actually give the devil (satan) a “foothold” if we don’t reconcile our anger. “A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression,” (Proverbs 29:22).
Tools are good for making some incredible structures, or collapsing those very same structures. It’s all in how they’re used, and it is no different with anger.
“Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick tempered displays folly,” (Proverbs 14:29), and “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger,” (Proverbs 15:1).
Anger under control can bring about change—real, positive change. In fact, there are many things that should make us angry. But we have to manage how we express what angers us. “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention,” (Proverbs 15:18).
Our thinking needs to change. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
When we make an honest assessment of who we are, what makes us angry and how we manage that anger, we are well on our way to handling a very powerful emotion. In the process, we will remain spiritually and mentally strong.
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven,” (Matthew 5:16).