SOURCE: Larry Heath/Living Free
“Short-tempered people do foolish things.” (Proverbs 14:17 NLT)
Anger in daily life can range from irritation to explosive responses.
Without emotional expression, life would be “unfelt” and appear as only rational or cognitive. However, thoughts and behaviors are connected to our feelings. Rational thought alone will not provide the energy needed to function as human beings in experiencing life. We all require feelings to motivate us sufficiently to do the enjoyable in life as well as experience suffering and pain. Anger is one of those feelings.
We all feel angry at times.
It may be righteous anger . . . or anger aroused by selfishness. We can choose how to respond to that anger. As the above Scripture points out, we sometimes make matters worse because we respond with foolish behavior. Children, youth, and adults differ in their expression of anger. Children may yell, pout, hit, or even become depressed by holding in the anger. Teens may respond to their anger with by withdrawing, becoming isolated, fighting with peers and siblings, or becoming aggressive with parents, teachers, and authority figures. Adults often express their anger through bitterness, resentment, self-pity, and depression.
It is important that we learn to manage our responses to anger rather than just erupting and lashing out at others . . . or holding everything in. The Bible makes it clear that anger is an ethically neutral instrument or force that we can use to glorify God rather than for expressing sinful thoughts or behaviors. It has potential for danger and can lead to sin. God wants us to deal with it quickly—and wisely—lest it lead to greater harm. “And ‘don’t sin by letting anger control you.’ Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT).
Christian mental and spiritual health that can help us manage anger wisely is characterized by humility, teachability, and peace—not a stubborn, angry, unteachable spirit that gives Satan a foothold.
Father, I know that sometimes I let anger take over and I respond foolishly. Please forgive me. Help me to be more teachable and humble. I know I need your help to manage my anger wisely. In Jesus’ name . . .