Psalm 37:8 – Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
There comes a time when you’re so mad that the the scripture above doesn’t come to mind. In fact, the only thing that comes to mind when you’re mad is revenge; giving into temptation/sin; and going O-F-F on someone! Peace, love, calmness are no where near your mind.
Anger is a dangerous emotion. Anger desires a response. It doesn’t consider the consequences. It only considers itself – at all costs. It’s a highway to other emotions and actions:
- Jealousy/Envy (James 3:16; Proverbs 14:30; Proverbs 6:32-35; Proverbs 23:17)
- Hate (Proverbs 10:12)
- Murder – Cain and Abel – grew out of anger (Genesis 4:1-17)
- Offense (Proverbs 18:19; Proverbs 19:11; Proverbs 17:9)
It’s VITALLY important that in these moments you take a moment, or two, or 1,000 to calm down. There are so many things you can do and say when you’re angry that you regret later. You’ll only cause additional heartache and pain for ourselves and others…plus, in many of these situations you sin against God. Don’t repay evil for evil (Romans 12:17). Let your words to build others up rather than tear them down (Ephesians 4:29). Allow yourself to be in a position to respond to the voice of God and not the voice of the flesh and Satan.
So what do you do about it?
1. Slow down.
James 1:19-20 – Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Sometimes the best response is no response. As James points out, anger does not bring about righteous living.
2. Walk away. Staying in the situation will only tempt you to act…WALK AWAY!
3. Cool off. Intense moments can keep you riled up for a while. Do something that will allow you settle down and see ‘the big picture.’ That might mean leaving the house, taking a drive, going to the store, stopping by a friend’s house, etc.
4. Stop thinking about it. Continuing to think about a bad situation will do nothing but keep the anger kindled within you. It’s like adding layer upon layer of pain, frustration, and offense.
Proverbs 17:9 – He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
5. Pray. Feel free to insert prayer anywhere in the situation! Pray for yourself and everyone involved or impacted. Forgive and repent as needed. Ask God to restore your hearts and minds. Allow Him to intervene.
6. Repay with good.
Romans 12:19-21 – Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Repaying evil with good is definitely not the world’s standard, but you’re not of the world…RIGHT?! Bless those that curse you and treat you badly. Overcome evil with good.
Heavenly Father, anger is such a dangerous emotion. Forgive me Father for my actions of _____________ (be specific). Help me to refrain from anger and keep my emotions under control. Teach me to repay evil with good and to love those that may hate me. Help those that are filled with anger and allow them to experience your peace. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.
Photo courtesy of CreationSwap/mattgruber