The amount of anger given full vent in our society these days continues to amaze and appall me. There are confrontations in the streets between groups of strangers, and even with passengers on airplanes. At times, even the interactions between some members of our government seem devoid of good manners, or any sense of decorum.
The book of Proverbs has been a source of wisdom for thousands of years. On the subject of anger, the book encourages a “less is more” approach. As another translation puts it, “A fool lets it all hang out, but sages quietly mull things over.” (Proverbs 29:11 The Message)
The truth is that unbridled anger can prove quite harmful. Here is what one health website said about anger:
“Anger is a powerful emotion and if it isn’t handled appropriately, it may have destructive results for you and those closest to you. Uncontrolled anger can lead to arguments, physical fights, physical abuse, assault and self-harm.”
Anger - how it affects people - Better Health Channel Well-managed anger can be a useful emotion that motivates you to make positive changes. On the other hand, anger is a powerful emotion and if it isn’t handled appropriately, it may have destructive results for you and those closest to you. www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au
Feeling angry is not a sin. There are some situations where even reacting to anger can be alright. After all, Jesus was angered by the money changers in the temple. Other times, it is obvious that Jesus becomes quite angry with his enemies. However, He keeps His emotions in check. We would do well to follow His example, and keep our anger from getting the best of us. The wise do not deny their anger. However, they do not allow it to dominate their better judgment, or to cloud their thinking. We live a world where uncontrolled anger is often on display, especially through the added use of social media and constant news. In this angry world, let us Christians demonstrate that we are in control of our anger, and that our anger is not in control of us.
I confess that my anger sometimes overwhelms me. I allow my rage to hurt others, and my relationships with them. Sometimes I even hurt myself. Forgive me, and help me to seek forgiveness from those I have hurt. Guide me to follow Christ’s example, both in self-control, and in the wisdom to know how to express anger properly. Help and heal those who feel the righteousness of anger which seems to dominate so much of our world these days. As Christians, may we be the first to lead by example, and use our wisdom to overcome our emotions.
I ask this prayer in Your most holy name, Amen