As Christians, we know we need God in every aspect of our lives do we not? We need God to work on us because some of us are so spiritually immature that it is hard to distinguish Christians from non-Christians. Thus, God commands us to do certain things for our own sake – not His. God wants to teach us how to move beyond ourselves to others. God knows we cannot make it to His kingdom until we learn how to sacrifice our needs, our wants, and our desires, for the good of someone else. In other words, until we learn how to love one another, even the unlovable. And, we can never love until we get rid of the anger.
Anger is a strong feeling of tension and aggressiveness which arises when we feel threatened, frustrated, or wronged in some way. It is an emotion which charges up the entire body – produces enormous energy and sometimes spills out in physical violence or verbal aggression. If not put in check, anger can destroy.
It is disconcerting that man seems out of touch and out of control. We are angry with ourselves, angry with God, angry with our parents, angry over lost opportunities to do something worthwhile with our lives, angry because someone we loved died, angry because someone rejected us; angry because we did not get the promotion we expected, angry because someone cut in front of us in traffic, angry because we cannot have our own way. Everywhere we look, people are being destroyed by their anger. People are angry and do not know how to deal with it in a mature way.
Anger destroys us. It destroys us physically, psychologically and spiritually. When we become angry our breathing increases and blood pressure is elevated, the heart beats faster, more adrenaline goes into the blood stream, blood is detoured away from our internal organs and redirect to our muscles for strength, our digestive processes stop and our immune system suppressed. The eyes are dilated for better peripheral vision, the hands get sweaty and the mouth dries. In only seconds, we are transformed from a quiet condition to an attack mode. If the anger persists, the body remains ready for action and eventually begins to break down physically.
Anger also affects us psychologically. When we are angry, we cannot think rationally. We cannot make logical decisions. We “fly off the handle” with the least provocation. We jump to wrong conclusions because our thinking is distorted. And, when our thinking is illogical, our behavior is inappropriate. We will do and say things that are senseless and out of order. We will misplace our anger onto the wrong people, curse folks, talk about folks and stab folks in the back when all the time it is our anger that is destroying us on the inside.
Spiritually, anger will keep us out of God’s kingdom because we are not abiding by His word. Scripture tell us:
“In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
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.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.
God wants us to bring whatever problem, need, emotion or dilemma we are faced with to Him. This means that as soon as we get angry, we turn it over to Him. When we allow God to manage our anger, we discover that He transforms it into something positive.
Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D. D. , is an ordained clergywoman, veteran social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach which can be reviewed on her site. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: My Grief Management Workbook, is expected to be available soon.
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Blessings to all!