When I get angry, I feel it in my stomach. I get nauseated. I usually start crying. And that only makes me angrier.
I don’t like being angry, but sometimes I can’t help it. People I love get hurt, and I get angry at their circumstances or at the person who hurt them. Maybe someone treats me unfairly, and that makes me angry.
And when I get angry, I have to do something with that anger before it eats me up from the inside.
Today’s verses are Ephesians 4:26-27.
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.
If you look this verse up in the Amplified Version, it actually says “Be angry,” which I find interesting. Some anger is good because it spurs us to positive action, but not all anger is beneficial.
Anger that leads us to hold grudges or feel resentful or harbor bitterness isn’t useful anger. That kind of anger can’t help us be better people or help us improve the world. That kind of anger is only good for hurting others and ourselves.
And that’s what these verses mean about letting our anger control us. Anger can be useful if you can control it, but once it gets out of your hands, it’s like a wildfire that will burn everything down around it.
So how do you handle it? What do you do when you’re angry?
First off, you have to admit that you’re angry. That’s my problem. I don’t want to admit it. I don’t like admitting any sort of weakness, especially an emotional one.
It’s okay to admit being angry. Anger is a natural, normal response to hurt.
Second, identify why you’re angry. Many times we’ll be angry about something, but what we’re angry about has nothing to do with the situation we’re currently in. Or we might think we’re angry at a person, but our anger is really directed at a circumstance .
Then, take the steps needed to manage your anger. It’s okay to still feel hurt. It’s okay to not feel all right. But the longer you let yourself feel angry about something, the darker your mood will get, the more self-focused you’ll become, and eventually you’ll implode—or explode. And then nobody will have a good day.
Anger on that level opens the door to let Satan into our lives. It makes us vulnerable to his suggestions, and following his advice is never ever a good idea.
In our culture, anger is revered as a means to get things done, and while that’s true in some cases, we shouldn’t use anger to motivate ourselves toward positive change in our lives. We should use God’s promises to accomplish that.
Besides, just imagine how much more pleasant our lives would be if we weren’t angry all the time.