“(Love) does not fly off the handle” 1 Corinthians 13:5 MSG
Anger is not a bad emotion. Anger, like happiness, sorrow, excitement, and elation, is an emotion that God has given us. They are signals of what is right, fair, wrong, unjust, pleasurable, hurtful, good and the list goes on. The problem with man’s anger is when we act or react based on our anger. Anger is a powerful emotion and in its thralls men have been known to do desperate and sinful things outside of themselves, “because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:20 NIV
When one lives a life full angered and constantly frustrated this is not only a sign that the individual is lacking in one or more areas of patience, kindness, goodness, joy or some other underlying area, it also leaves the individual open and more susceptible to the persuasion of the enemy and the temptation to sin. This may be accomplished perhaps by saying harsh and hurtful things. Abusing themselves or others and even worse. This is why it s crucial that we deal with anger quickly and do not harbor anger in our hearts. “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.” Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV
Overcoming Anger with Love
Pause, slow down
Before reacting or speaking pause. Take a moment to really hear; hear from others and most importantly hear from God before saying or doing anything, especially out of anger.
“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11 NIV
When we consult with wisdom, whether it is through spiritually minded friends, the word of God or through prayer we find relief, understanding, acceptance and even patience. While mans anger can be irrational and unpredictable making little to no sense to anyone but the afflicted, wisdom is right, exercising goodness and looking to the will of God and what would be pleasing in His sight. “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” Proverbs 29:11 NIV
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 NIV
I can not tell you how often I’ve chosen to show love to someone in the heat of an inflamed moment or someone diffused my pain with a kind word and everyone came out on the other side better for it. Its something about trusting God and choosing love in the face of anger, wrath and disappointment that brings peace, patience and Gods presence to an otherwise perceivably nasty situation.
- Are there any areas in your life where hurt has been the underlying cause of your anger?
- How do you seek wisdom in times of anger, hurt, disappointment or confusion?
- How do you anticipate exercising love the next time you are faced with anger?