Anger is an emotion, just like any other. Anger by itself is not bad, but we know that anger has got a bad reputation. It is because anger is an emotion with a very strong passion. Anger is forceful, powerful and mostly untamed. Anger can make anyone a monster. Anger not only alienates people from others, but it also wrecks one’s health causing high level of adrenaline and cortisol to surge up, and over time, can cause hypertension, high blood pressure, heart-attack and stroke.
People feel angry for various reasons, but usually do when they are offended in any way, misunderstood, ill-treated, harbour strife, face injustice, jealousy etc. People also display anger in different ways. Some express it outwardly, some suppress it inwardly. Some release it slowly by being critical, cynical and by gossiping. Some people feel very fearful and their anger is the only thing that makes them feel powerful. Therefore they remain angry indefinitely because they are continuously fearful and out of control, and they try to control and manipulate other people with their anger.
Whether your anger is in the form of a fuming monster, a dormant volcano or a simmering poisonous brook, it is lethal for you and others. If a person has untamed fuming anger, they probably are like a devastating catastrophic tornado. If a person suppresses their anger, outwardly they appear calm, but inwardly they are depressed and get sick every day. And if a person is continuously critical and cynical, they will be mostly bitter, jealous, fearful and insecure.
Most crimes, whether they are spontaneous or meticulously planned, are committed by uncontrolled or unresolved anger. Think about it; many people wouldn’t be on death row and life sentences if only and if only they knew how to control their anger. We live in a world that is evil and filled with mean people and they are bound to make us angry. But if we react the same way as they do then aren’t we all mean, evil and wicked people. We have a choice on how to react when we are angry and wronged.
Learning to manage one’s anger is the wisest thing a person can do. If you don’t control your anger, it will control you. Anger can be constructive or it can be destructive. We feel angry when we see the innocent suffer, when unborn babies are butchered in their mother’s womb. We feel angry when gay marriages are legalised, profanity and vulgarity becomes a normal trend in society. How do we react to these types of anger?
God does not want us to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). We are to pray for those who walk in wickedness so that the grace and mercy of God may be known to them, and that they may turn away from their wicked ways. We have to channel our anger through doing what is pleasing to God, and not give into our carnal emotions.
God’s word tells us to ‘be angry, and sin not, let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.’ (Ephesians 4:26-27). To become angry about something is a normal human response, but to give into sin is a choice we make. If we use our anger to hurt others or ourselves, we are disobeying God. God wants us to have self-control and not give into sin. God also warns us not to be angry for long but to calm down very soon, in fact the same day, so that we don’t allow the devil to tempt us into doing wrong or torment us for being unforgiving and holding on to our anger.
Just like a wild horse needs to be tamed and trained to be used for domestic purposes or as a great racing horse, we too need to tame and train our anger, otherwise it will be like a wild galloping horse with no restraints and unfit in a civilized world. We tame our anger by learning how to be patient, loving, kind, forgiving, forbearing, gentle, humble, peaceful and gracious.
If you find yourself in a road rage, maintain your peace. That way you will reach your destination safely, peacefully and blessed. Just because someone else is having a bad day, don’t make it your worst day. Not retaliating to anger is wisdom and bravery. Giving into anger is foolish and makes us slaves of it. Anger has a very provocative and contagious nature. It will stir you up and challenge you to do wrong. Train yourself not to give into it. ‘Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.’ (Proverb 22:24-25)
As the word of God advises us, we need to stay away from angry people. If your friends are angry, do not associate with them. If you live in a violent angry neighbourhood, find a way to move to a peaceful place. ‘Above everything else, guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life.’ (Proverb 4:23)
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