There’s a lot of anger going around these days. While the reasons to get angry are wide and varied, the release of anger needs to be in appropriate ways. Losing control of anger doesn’t help anyone. Everybody needs to know how to manage their anger because it’s not a matter of IF you get angry, it’s always a matter of WHEN. Proverbs 14:29 says it like this, “People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.” Notice it doesn’t say people with understanding do not get angry. Rather, it says that they know how to control it.
We need to understand that anger is a God given emotion. God wired you up in a way to get angry because sometimes anger is the most appropriate response. When something happens that shouldn’t happen, you should get angry. When someone is hurt, you should get angry. When there’s an injustice, you should get angry. As a matter a fact, if you never get angry, that’s a good indication that you don’t have much love. Sometimes anger is the most loving thing to express. BUT, we have to learn how to control it and how to use it wisely.
All of us tend to get angry in one of two ways. We externalize it. Or, we internalize it. Both of these are inappropriate expressions of anger.
Let me give you an illustration. When it comes to anger, you’re typically either a skunk or a turtle. It’s pretty easy to guess that a skunk is someone who’s very external. They just spray it ALL OVER the place. And then everyone around them has that sour face because it stinks. OR, maybe you’re the turtle. The turtle retreats and hides as it goes back into its shell. And then, there are those rare cases of turtles that are hiding, stuffing it all under their shell and allowing the resentment, bitterness, and all their anger build and build inside until … they explode!
We must be resolved to control this God given emotion. Don’t make excuses by saying things like, “I can’t control it” or “it just happens.” Look, this is a big deal for me too. I was born Irish. The Irish typically have two emotions, we’re either angry or asleep … But then Christ came into my life and that changed everything. That doesn’t mean I don’t ever get mad … I’m a Padres fan. But I learned how to deal with it better and better. Take a look at Proverbs 29:11. It says, “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.”
While anger is a God given emotion, anger is a choice. We must remember that uncontrolled anger comes with a hefty cost. As we go about our week and grow in discerning this emotion, let me leave you with this verse from Ephesians 4:26 …“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” The reality is, we all lose when you lose your temper. Let us be transformed by the renewing of our mind and begin to release anger appropriately.
Blessings to you in the week ahead.