There are quite a few things I’ve learned about letting go of anger. To much of my delight holding grudges just doesn’t serve me any purpose. It doesn’t serve any one of us much purpose.Even though it is a natural feeling, holding on to it should not be.
Accept it, it’s normal. Expect it we get angry all the time. When life just doesn’t seem to go our way, when our children are acting up, even just hitting our knee on that sharp ledge can even set us off. Simply put, anger is a reaction to the spontaneity of life. It’s like an unexpected raging force that at times cannot be rationalized.”Openly wrathful” is one of it’s definitions in the bible. That “wrathful” means “man stirs up strife”, Proverbs 15:18. So even the book of proverbs instructs that it “stirs up strife” maybe meaning that it’s inevitable. So even though we struggle with unexpected trials joys or pain, we must not let the enemy break our spirit. Especially when we are happy. So we must always pause and analyze what we are angry about. What may be consuming our thoughts may be a normal reaction to miscommunication, pain, resentment or any other feelings we may be dealing with. As we strive to become more spiritually inclined then we must pray that the Lord gives us strength and guidance to deal with anger.
There are two text that stand out in the book of Job. One can be found in Job 3:3-26. So at this point Job has lost all his possessions, all his children and his wife tried to turn him away from the Lord. Job was considered a righteous man by God, yet in the text selected he began by literally cursing the day he was born. The more we see him throughout these scriptures becoming more and more angered, living out his natural emotions to his sudden bad circumstances. Yet the more we can empathize with Job because we have all been there! Cursing the day he was born= contemplating on his existence. Shocking for someone thought to be righteous in the sight of the Lord. Yet he was allowed to vent, to question and to live out his pain. The devil really thought he would break him down when he asked the Lord permission to wreck havoc on his life. As much as it hurt the Lord to turn the other way he wasn’t absent, at all throughout Job’s trials. See when we face so much adversity the Lord has a special covering over us so that we can go through our trials successfully and overcome temptation. To prove to the enemy that we can change, that the blood of Christ wasn’t in vain. That we have mercy and peace in allowing Jesus to step in and fight for us. The Lord declared Job righteous so therefore he was. Even in his anger and pain he never withheld any of his emotions from God as he questioned the series of unfortunate events that fell upon his house.
David can come across a bit self righteous in the book of Psalms. His passion for the Lord is quite clear from the beginning of the book. He is known for his rants specifically about the Lord taking vengeance on his enemies. Quite self-righteous if you know David’s history. From knocking out Goliath with a stone, to sinning against one of his own soldiers to get Bathsheba. He should be the last person asking the Lord for vengeance. In fact his anger and wrath is often displayed greatly throughout Psalms. Although his songs were made into popular hymns we now sing in church, David had a lot to work on and anger was one of those things. Surely he was boisterous and proud, yet humble and feared the Lord greatly. That is why I loved reading the book of Psalms. Seeing all the ups and downs in David’s mood helped me deal with my own moods about my spiritual life. Yet because of Jesus through Calvary we are given another chance, another day to make it right. The mercy that the Lord pours upon his believers comforts the soul. Allows for anger and frustration to seize and for the Holy Spirit to work.
In Psalms 94:1-7 we can focus on David’s need for the Lord to impose vengeance upon his enemies. He starts by declaring that vengeance belongs to God. Towards the end of this text we can also see how he judges others for their own sin. When in fact he should ask the Lord to remove this anger and strife from his heart. When we do this the Lord tends to shift our mood and peace overwhelms the heart. So what can we learn from David? That we can take anything to the Lord and that in turn he can turn all negatives into positives. That right there is a blessing in itself. That we have a wonderful God who we can trust will transform us from the inside. With that transformation and our giving in to the cries of the holy spirit, we can experience true repentance and overcome anger.
In the book of proverbs we read about a lot of teachings. Yet when we study the life of Solomon, the many women, going astray and worshiping foreign Gods, one may wonder what can we really learn from Solomon. Solomon was declared one of the wisest man that ever lived by God. So what does that tell us? That when the Lord declares your worth, no matter how far you may walk from him, that is just who you are and he wouldn’t take away your essence from you even we don’t follow his example. In the book of Proverbs we read about these instructions for a more fulfilling life. I personally loved reading this book with my daughter because of all the lessons it teaches. To emphasize on how proverbs teaches us not to be angry, I find that the most appropriate text can be found in Proverbs 24:19,20. The scripture warn us to “not fret because of evildoers” “nor be envious of the wicked”. In this text it clearly explains to not react or get upset because of others who might make you angry. “Nor be envious” when they prosper. In fact we should look to God in those hard moments. Towards the end of Proverbs it warns us that “the wicked will be put out” When we get angry specifically after being cut off in traffic or if someone was being hurtful we should take a step back before reacting. How do you counteract reacting with impulsive anger? Empathy. I know it’s tough but in that space of the moment you are given to react, put yourself in that person’s shoes. Consider what they may be going through. I know it’s more easy to say than to do. Try it and the anger shall seize. Trust in the Lord give a “soft answer to wrath” because that is most likely what God would want you to do. Simply put, human nature has two sides, the good and the bad. Yet in spite of our sinful nature even if we mumble the name of Jesus Christ our purpose becomes more clear. What we were so passionately angry at becomes unimportant.
Being angry is normal! Holding on to anger is sinful. There’s a thin line between resentment and self righteousness/pride. Letting these feelings fester only leads to impulsive anger that can lead to impulsive actions and behavior. That can only steer you into a place of sadness. Proverbs 20:9, 10 teaches “who can say I have made my heart clean, I am pure from sin? Yet if we continue these feelings to fester the same is considered an “abomination to the Lord”.
Proverbs does justify that we are all sinful and fall short but we should know better especially if we are out here representing Christ.
Meditating on the word of God throughout the day truly helps. There is something about escaping into the Holy word that we know God provided for moments of weakness. I like to call it “bible scripture checkpoints”.
If being angry is something normal to you and you’d like to change seek God in prayer. Believe that he will heal you from all your life experiences that have turned you into an angry person. Also therapy is very helpful to get your feelings out. Remember we can pray and worship but when there is a mental health concern one must seek the appropriate help. Lastly ask yourself Is reacting in an angry way really worth it? Will this honor the Lord?