June 6, 2007

The Power of Anger

Mary Southerland

 

 

Today’s truth

Proverbs 27:4 “Anger is cruel and destroys like a flood.”

 

 

Friend to Friend

I am way over grocery shopping but it seems to be connected to an essential part of daily life – eating. Determined to make the best of the dreaded task, I recently headed to the grocery store. As I pulled into the parking lot, I spotted an empty space right by the store entrance and made a bee-line for it. Rounding the corner, in the middle of the space I saw a lady motioning to a man I assume was her husband as he circled the lot in his very large, black car. I suddenly realized that she was saving “my” spot for him and decided that if she was willing to risk her life for a parking space, she deserved to have it. However, the driver behind me did not share my viewpoint. He whipped his car into the space just in front of the man, barely missing the woman as she leaped out of the space and onto the sidewalk. As gestures and loud, ugly words filled the air, I was reminded of the truth that we live in a world filled with angry people.

Everyone gets angry. Nevertheless, we must learn to control our anger or it will control us. Anger is powerful, an emotional warning light that shouts “Something is wrong! I have been hurt. I am frustrated. I have been rejected. Something has to change because I have lost control!”

Anger itself is not sin! The Apostle Paul writes, “In your anger, do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26). Yes, God created us with the capacity for anger but He also made it possible to be angry and yet not sin. The key is learning how to express anger correctly; to harness and control it. Then, anger becomes a tool for good. However, anger that is mishandled leads to destruction and ruin.

 

Proverbs 14:29 “Those who control their anger have great understanding; those with a hasty temper will make mistakes”.

 

Mishandled anger is not only destructive. It is obstructive in that our anger often gets in the way of God’s justice. Deuteronomy 32:35 clearly says, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay”. Honestly, I would rather the object of my anger face God’s wrath instead of my rage.

 

When our son, Jered, was a small boy, he loved to work on projects with his dad – especially the ones involving anything made of wood. Every time Dan headed to the garage, Jered was right behind him. Dan would pull out his power tools and Jered would pull out his plastic tools. However, Jered soon became dissatisfied with childish tools and informed his dad that he wanted to use the power tools. Dan knelt down beside our son and said, “Let me see your hands, son”. As Jered placed his small hands in the large hands of his father, he observed, “Daddy, your hands are a lot bigger than mine! Dan explained, “That’s right, son. These power tools were made to fit Daddy’s big hands so that I can build beautiful things. They are too big and too powerful for your hands. They could hurt you badly.”

 

Anger in the wrong hands, handled in the wrong way destroys, but under the control of the Holy Spirit, anger can be used to take a moral stand or promote a just cause. Don’t allow anger to find a home in your heart. Submit it to the Father’s powerful hands and watch Him create something beautiful.

 

 

Let’s pray

Father, I confess to You that I am prone to anger. Forgive me for acting on that anger and allowing it to take up residence in my spirit. Right now, I choose to place it in Your hands. Please teach me how to handle my anger and harness it for good in my life. In Jesus’ name…Amen.

 

 

Now it’s your turn

·         Examine your life for areas controlled and affected by anger.

·         What was the original source of your anger? Identify and deal with that source.

·         What have been the results of anger in your life? Have they been destructive of constructive? In what ways?

·         What is the first step you need to take in order to bring your anger under the control of God’s power?

·         Are you willing to take that first step?

 

 

More from the girlfriends

Honey, I know what you are thinking! Many of us can instantly go from zero to one hundred on the anger meter. Why is that? What wound have we buried? What pain have we tried to “wish” away until, weary from the battle, allowed it to settle comfortably into our heart and soul? The consequences are disastrous! Lay down your pain and your anger and allow your Father to take charge. It will set you free!

 

 

For more on this topic, see Mary’s book “Escaping the Stress Trap”.

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