WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR ANGER?
"'For the churning of milk produces butter, and pressing the nose brings forth blood; so the churning of anger produces strife." Proverbs 30:33
College football is just around the corner and any team knows about rivalry games. There are just some special match-ups where the stakes are higher and the emotions run hotter. That is especially true concerning the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners. Texas-OU weekend in Dallas in October often sees fan fights as the animosity toward one another runs as deep as the Red River.
Obviously, these “fighting fans” let their anger run amok. They churn their anger, work themselves into a frenzy, and, no doubt, regret the strife that invariably ensues. Anger is like that. If you churn it and turn it over and over in your mind and heart, you will see harmful, hurtful results. Many have been murdered because of churned anger. If you don’t believe me, just ask Cain and Abel.
SO WHAT DO WE DO WITH ANGER?
God never wants us to churn and chew on our anger. To churn and chew on anger is as foolish as rolling around in Poison Ivy. Surely no one would do that, right?
Perhaps you are angry toward a boss who mistreated you, or a spouse who betrayed you, or a relative who abused you, or a dad who wasn’t there for you, or a coach who cut you, or a teacher who embarrassed you, or a former friend who stabbed you in the back. When that person’s name is mentioned in conversation, you can feel your stomach start to churn and begin to taste the bitterness in your mouth toward that terrible, horrible, hypocritical person. Inflicting harm on that “evil” person sure sounds like a great plan, doesn’t it? Surely God would want you to take the bull by the horns and get even, right? WRONG!
“Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans12:19).
GIVE YOUR ANGER TO GOD!
Anger typically comes about because something happened to you or someone you love that you did not like, did not want, or did not think was right. Yet, God in His providence allowed it to touch your life. Therefore, when you feel anger welling up inside of you, instead of churning it, chewing on it, and letting it produce strife, give it to God. You can choose His grace to help you in your time of need. His grace, the desire and power to live for Christ and rise above, is sufficient for every situation you and I will ever encounter.
Are you angry today? Are you churning your angry? Is the rancid butter of strife, discord, resentment and disharmony starting to ooze out of your life like pus from a boil? (I was extra graphic here on purpose to help see what God sees when you churn your anger.) Put down the churning-stick, and give your anger to God. Let Him repay those who have wronged you. Choose His grace, and allow the Lord to take the ashes of your hurt and anger and turn them to gold.
Dear Father, I have been holding on to anger, churning it, and chewing on it … and I need to stop. I confess what I have been doing is a sin, and it is very displeasing to You. Forgive me, Lord. By faith, I put down the churn-stick and turn this situation over to You. I choose Your grace to help me rise above. Bring back the joy, Lord, as I walk in the light with You. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
P.S. For more on the negative emotion of anger, I hope you'll get a copy of my new book, Runaway Emotions. There is a whole chapter about anger and I believe it can be a real blessing to you if you are dealing with anger or know someone who is.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.
Anger. Depression. Loneliness. Guilt. Inferiority, Frustration, Worry, Discontentment … These are the 8 most common negative emotions that powerfully affect our lives. We find them hopelessly undesirable – but God wants to use them for good. In his book Runaway Emotions: Why You Feel the Way You Do and What God Wants You to Do About It, Pastor Jeff writes about the power of negative human emotions and God’s desire to use those feelings for joyous, abundant living. He helps readers identify and understand the source of each. With Bible-based insight, readers learn how to trust God’s plan in using each emotion for spiritual growth.
BUT FOR A DONATION OF $50 OR MORE:
You will not only receive the BOOK “Runaway Emotions: Why You Feel the Way You Do and What God Wants You to Do About It,” But you’ll also receive Pastor Jeff’s 8 – message CD series “God’s Message in Your Emotions: Tracing Emotional Pain to Victorious Living”