What are we to do about this nasty little beast called anger?
Are we supposed to blame our anger on all things unholy and use it as an excuse to let our anger take over our hearts? Are we, because we are human, supposed to or “allowed to” get angry? And how does God see our anger?
Does he use our anger to better us, to help us see clearer?
I sure as heck think so. I think that often times, I let anger take over my heart, and I think a good percentage of the time, I don’t have a very good reason to go to the extreme that I go to. A lot of the time, after my anger subsides, I feel this drowning sense of guilt, like I just let my Heavenly father down. I crushed Him by getting angry at the driver in front of me, or my boyfriend, or a co-worker. I have this feeling of, c’mon Alex, do better. And yet somehow I seem to slip right back into this pattern.
James 1:19-20, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
Anger is not holy. Anger is not righteous or loved by God, you are the thing, the being, that is loved by God.
Not the anger.
Listening is one of my worst qualities. Sometimes I think that I am so so stellar at listening, and I can be really stellar, but often times, I think I hear something but it isn’t processed like it is supposed to be. I am too quick to jump the gun, form my own thoughts about what someone has said, or let those things anger me before I fully listen to what someone says.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a time and a place for us to express feelings of frustration, but when we are too quick to speak and act based off of what we think we heard, rather than what someone actually said, we are not acting out of righteousness.
One of the absolute hardest things for me in my relationship with my boyfriend, my parents, people at work, other family members, and so on, is controlling my feelings correctly and letting them take me to places that my heart should never be.
Proverbs 29:11, “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring the calm in the end.”
Okay, if this isn’t me then I don’t know what is. Now that is not me sitting here saying that I am a terrible person, etc, but I do think that I can be very foolish sometimes. Quieting your heart, leads to a calm demeanor and outlook on a situation. Like in the passage from James, we jump, we are too quick when we should be slow and steady. We have very little ability to calm ourselves, and bring our feelings to a peaceful place.
Why does it matter if we are wise though? Why should it matter that we are calm instead of angry?
Wisdom brings righteousness.
We all want righteousness right?
That brings us closer to Him. If I could be as righteous as Jesus, then things would be perfect and there would be no sin and need for the cross. However friend, that is not how things are. We are sinners, we are fallen, we do get angry. However, the wise man who chooses to calm his/her anger, strives toward righteousness. The more of a practice it becomes, the easier it will be to just do it.
Proverbs 3:13, “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding.”
Wisdom = Understanding.
Understanding is one of the most difficult skills that humans do not possess. We all just want to understand everything about God, but, we don’t, and that frustrates us. We get angry. But, actively choosing our God, choosing the love, the grace, the humbleness that He gives, will give us His understanding.
So humble yourself to understand that the Lord will give you wisdom in His time, while you are actively seeking it. He will not leave you when you are amidst your anger. He will cradle you, take the anger, and give you peace.
Ephesians 5:15-16, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
None of us are perfect.
Our days aren’t perfect.
It is actually impossible to live perfect daily lives.
But we can live in our wisdom, making wise choices to avoid evil tendencies.
So I challenge you: Actively seek wisdom, actively seek peace from your anger, and let God be the guiding light to your path.