Proverbs 16:32,"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty and he who controls his spirit than he who takes a city."
Yesterday’s national news was the story of a woman who was so angry with her son for talking back to her that she shot him with a gun. Although this is an extreme example, it’s a reminder that explosions of unleashed anger bring devastating consequences.
Anger is an emotion that is typically caused by frustration, pain or unresolved past hurt. Similar to an infection under the skin, anger festers until its breaks through the surface, oozes out and contaminates its surroundings. The venom of angry words and actions have killed more marriages, destroyed more friendships and wrecked more lives than any other behavior.
Dealing with feelings of anger can be handled in numerous ways. Spontaneous reaction is never a solution, because it often spawns regretful words and retaliation from others. Another option people choose is to suppress their feelings and not address the root cause of the problem. Ignoring issues never bring solutions, but usually give a breeding ground for resentment, a victim mentality and bitterness. Gods choice is for us to approach those with whom we have offended or who have offended us with openness to our own faults, honesty, forgiveness, love and compassion. Only then do we have the ability to reconcile differences and diffuse a relationship bomb. If the other person’s response is below our expectations, which it often is, then we have to ask God to help us contain our anger and make the decision to forgive. Forgiveness is nothing more than a repeated decision that God will enable you to make.
People are remembered for the problems they create or solve. While some issues are alleviated by a kind of righteous anger that is aimed at injustice, there are far more problems that are created than removed when people allow anger to go unchecked. Proverbs 25:28 says that a person who cannot control his emotions is like a city broken down without walls. Uncontrolled anger leaves us without a guardrail of protection. In another verse found in Proverbs 18:19 we are told that anger can keep us away from others like the bars on a castle.
Initiate healing between yourself and whoever you have exchanged anger with. Don’t wait for them to make the first move. Just remember that God will reward your obedience.