A quick look around will show that there is much anger today. It manifests itself in the rage and violent behavior we see everyday in the news. It is apparent in the way kids at school treat each other. It is displayed in the social media networks that allow people to speak angrily and hurtful. It is displayed in interactions between different religious groups.
The Bible goes so far as to call those that are often angry, fools. “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9 The word fool, actually means silly or stupid. It generally refers to those that are unbelievers, but can also refer to an attitude. This verse is referring to those that are continually or often angry.
Every one of us has been angry at some time. Anger is a part of our human nature. It is one of the works of the old nature. Because we have the life of Christ in us, we are able to overcome through the power of the Holy Spirit. When we yield to Him, He will give us a different attitude about whatever is making us angry.
The apostle Paul reminds of this in Ephesians 4:31 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:” He starts in verse 22 about putting off the old man. Then we are told, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” Ephesians 4:26 We are not to let anger control us and cause us to act against our brother/sister.
It is very wise to leave anger with God. “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.” Proverbs 14:29 We need to remember that God is the one who takes care of the circumstance that would cause us to be angry. “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Romans 12:19
It is certain that when we act in anger, we will eventually regret it. Anger causes us to do and say things that we would not otherwise do or say. Then, once the words leave our mouth, they can never be taken back. Today, we have to also consider how we respond on social media which is so prevalent, and because we are not face to face with a person, it becomes easier to say something that we might not say in person.
James reminds us to not be hasty in anger. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” James 1:19 When we become angry, if we first go to the Lord and tell Him what has made us angry, we will find peace, and He will enable us to let go of the anger.
The world would have us believe that getting angry is just natural and necessary and we should just let it out. Well, it is natural, but we do not need to be controlled by our anger. When we yield to the life of Christ in us, we will show the world that there is something better.
I do not wish to discuss politics here, but it is clear that even God’s people are being drawn in to the deep anger and resentment that is part of our politics today in this country. Let us be reminded that God is in control of those that are in power. God puts up and takes down as it pleases Him. We must never allow Satan to use politics to create divisions amongst God’s people.
The best way to overcome anger is to keep ourselves in God’s Word. There we will find that the things that make us angry are all under God’s control. We will learn that God knows the wrongs that are done to us, and only He can truly take care of them.
If we have said something in anger, then we should ask forgiveness. We need to ask forgiveness from God, and then from the person with whom we were angry. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Take care of it quickly. You will feel better, and you will be glad you did. Remember that only the Holy Spirit can control your anger.