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Anger: Should not be part of a Believer’s life

Published: Saturday, 01 February 2014 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

And Jesus said,

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” Matthew 5:21-22

It is a bold statement for me to say that anger should not be in any Believer’s life. But, I believe that’s what Jesus is saying in the verses above. As Believers, we are not to become angry about anything. I don’t think any of us can empty ourselves entirely of anger, but I think we all need to spend some time thinking about what provokes us to anger and the possible consequences that can result from our anger.

 

When and how do you become angry? I ask you to think about the last time the emotion of anger was in your life. Try to recall the circumstances that provoked you to become angry. Anger can come from within yourself because nothing seems to be working the way you expect. You use anger as an outlet for the frustration you may feel. Anger can also be provoked by others…something someone says or does can make you irrationally angry.

God revealed anger several times in my life. One occurrence was as a parent when some neighborhood kids took advantage of my son. I hope I did not scar any of those kids’ lives with what I said to them. Another incident was as an Assistant coach on a soccer team. My yelling at the kids became so intense during a game that all of the parents and the Head Coach were watching and listening to me instead of the game. I was greatly embarrassed. The incident that finally changed my life about anger involved my wife. We were living in Florida. It was summer – hot and humid. I was working on my truck and sweating profusely. My wife comes out of the house holding some pink clothing. She apologized but had just washed five brand new dress shirts that I needed for work with something red. They were ruined. I threw some tools into the yard. I yelled at her. I stayed mad at her for several hours. But, the Holy Spirit got my attention by showing me that my relationship with my wife was much more important than five dress shirts. Since that incident, I do not get mad as quickly or as often as I did. I now know that God considers relationships with others more important than any worldly things. Anger has not been completely removed from my life, but I have more peace and joy with my wife and others because I am not quick-tempered or an angry person.

The subject of politics is one that causes anger in many people. In my opinion, there is no politician more valuable than any relationship with your family, friends, or even strangers. When you become angry, your witness for Christ is impaired. You cannot be angry and tell someone about Jesus Christ. They won’t listen to you.

How do you remove anger from your life? It is really simple. First of all, I think men are more tempted to be angry than women. This is my opinion. I think men use anger as a crutch to get their way in many situations. We are also more intimidating because of our size and the volume of our voices when we yell. Women get mad too. Whether you are a man or a woman, your anger starts with something small that irritates you. If you do not deal with it right then, it will escalate and you will hear someone say that “you must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.”

 

Anger always results in you losing control of your mind and emotions. This is why it damages relationships so quickly. When angry, you may use words that you don’t normally use. Your facial expressions show anger that is, quite frankly, ugly. You make the other person feel small and insignificant. In the personal incident above, I should have comforted my wife and not made a big deal with her mistake rather than yelling and throwing things. I hope you are beginning to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal incidents of anger in your life and why you became angry. If you would spend the time, after you cool down, to analyze why you became angry, you will start to get control of one of the worse relationship killers that there is. You must always get to the initial incident that caused you to have some frustration. Stop your feelings right then. You can do this by intentionally conversing with someone about a non-volatile topic. Or, you can make yourself busy at work. Or, you can read a portion from your Bible. Anything that will get your mind (and calm your feelings) before you erupt with anger.

One final example that is very personal is that my father used anger to motivate me. As a child, it did not motivate me, but it scared me. Even now in my 60’s, if someone starts yelling in my presence, my body has been conditioned to jump. Fathers and Mothers: I beg you not to communicate with your child when you are angry. Children need to be disciplined but not with your loss of control accompanied with yelling and screaming. They need to know what they did wrong, why it was wrong, and then feel the consequences of their wrong. Every incident with a child should end with that child knowing that you love them unconditionally just like God loves you unconditionally.

I hope what Jesus said in the verses above and these few words that I have written will change your attitude toward anger. I’ll say it again. I believe that anger should not be present in a true Believer. If you want to justify your anger by using the example of Jesus being angry and overturning the money changing tables in the Tabernacle, then that will have to be between you and God. I don’t think you or anyone can justify their anger when that of our Savior and Lord.

During the coming week, think about anger. Look at others that become angry. If you find an incident where your anger is justified, please contact me. Otherwise, find out what causes you to become angry, and then let the Holy Spirit lead you to remove those thoughts from your life. You will experience peace and joy and all of your relationships will be healthy and strong. Finally, you must always be prepared to share Jesus Christ with all others.

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