In the darkness of the night you toss and turn in your bed. As the mauve and amber shades tint the skies in the early morning hours you continue to wrestle with your thoughts. It feels as if not only your sheets are strangling you but so are your thoughts. And the culprit for your restlessness is a little five-letter word—anger!
Did you know that the Bible deals with this topic? Yes, because people who loved God also experienced anger. I have been angry many times in my life. Sometimes that anger is justifiable. But there have also been times that I have fueled my anger and it almost got to the brink of allowing bitterness to creep into my heart. When I realized how close I was to the destructive emotion of bitterness I quickly went to the Lord with my anger issue.
Let me make a few comments about anger.
1. Anger is not always sinful. We are human and so we are prone to feel different emotions. Feeling and experiencing emotions is not wrong it is human, but how we deal with those emotions is essential to the well-being of our soul. Ephesians 4: 26 exhorts us “In your anger do not sin.” In other words, you can be angry with a right heart or alternatively you can be angry and sin.
2. Anger must be carefully managed. I have to admit there are times I get angry about the slide in morality within our culture. It grieves my spirit. I can also feel anger with the decisions a leader makes because I know those choices are not well considered and are not for the well being of others. So I do get angry. But I do not dwell on those issues. I pray about them and move on. I cannot allow anger to fester in my spirit—it won’t do me any good and it certainly does not help the situation. You can be angry but you must not allow that anger to control you. You need to ensure that you are always in control of your emotion. Getting angry with family and the people closest to us is a whole other issue. Because we are close to these people, and we love them, so many other emotions can get in the way. We can never allow our anger to get in the middle of our relationships and cause them harm. We must manage our anger in a careful, deliberate, and strategic way.
3. Anger must be dealt with. The Bible is wise when it says, “Do not let the sun go down while you are angry.” Never go to bed with an angry heart. Deal with it. Speak to the person who has made you angry. If that is not possible pray about your anger. You must try to do something constructive—even if it means speaking to a trusted friend and asking for prayer. If you do not deal with your anger I can almost guarantee that you will not get good rest. Anger is not good for your soul. It is also not good for your physical well-being. Psychological research has shown the link between our emotional health and our physical well-being.
Sometimes the little word “sorry” can go a long way. There are times we need to say the word and other times we need to hear the word. We are not responsible for the actions of other people. If they do not say sorry then that is not your problem. Never make someone else’s problem yours. You have to ensure that your heart is right and if your heart is clean that is what matters.
I pray your day will be filled with peace and joy!
I am and always will be,
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,