Handling Anger

Matthew 5:20-22

We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Some of us realize that all that's kept us from committing murder was the lack of opportunity at the moment we were in touch with the depth of our rage. Maybe we can stuff our ugly emotions down deep most of the time, only venting them when we're caught off guard or under the influence.

The law of Moses clearly says, "You must not murder" (Exodus 20:13). Moses went on to explain, "If someone hates another person and pushes him or throws a dangerous object at him and he dies, it is murder. Or if someone hates another person and hits him with a fist and he dies, it is murder. . . . But suppose someone pushes another person without having shown previous hostility, or throws something that unintentionally hits another person, or accidentally drops a huge stone on someone, though they were not enemies, and the person dies. If this should happen, the community must follow these regulations in making a judgment" (Numbers 35:20-24). Jesus taught, "You have heard that our ancestors were told, 'You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.' But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment" (Matthew 5:21-22).

If we took the time to think about it, we may realize that we're still in danger because of the rage burning beneath the surface. In order for our recovery to be complete, we must dig up the anger, vent it appropriately, and let it go. This is a vital part of our recovery process, which we dare not neglect.

Unresolved anger becomes a violation of God's command to love.
 

 

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Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.