Everywhere you go these days it’s hard not to run into someone who is royally ticked off about something.
Whether it’s the guy sitting next to you in a waiting room, those constant talking-heads on the tube, or even the people in your own house… ANGER is everywhere.
I grew up in the sixties.
Lot’s of anger back then with war protests, campus unrest, not to mention the assassinations making headlines.
But frankly, those times pale in comparison to the times we are walking through now.
People are running on pure adrenaline these days and their fuses are getting shorter all the time.
(And much, much, easier to ignite!)
Of course, not all anger is wrong.
It may surprise some to realize that God doesn’t condemn all anger. Some anger is righteous. Some anger God approves of—and even supports.
There is a righteous indignation that can spur us to action against the bullies and tyrants of this world.
A healthy anger at injustice is a very good thing—as long as it finds it’s expression in constructive and not destructive ways.
But then there is the other kind of anger…
The “What about me?” kind of anger. The “I’m not getting my way.” kind of offended-huffiness that often lights our fuse in the twinkling of an eye.
Selfish outrage is universal these days and the most common brand of ire on the planet.
(And if we’ll be honest, we all struggle with it as much as the next guy.)
Yeah, we do.
Anger is a major problem.
Yet, it’s not so much our anger that is at issue, but what we do about it.
We all know there are right ways, and wrong ways, to handle our frustration.
I confess my own uncontrolled anger got the better of me (too often) in my younger years, and I had to learn the hard way, (more than once) about it’s consequences.
Surprisingly, it has been the Word of God that has helped me the most.
As I started applying “Truth” in liberal doses to the things that would light my fuse… mainly not getting my own way, I began to get a shorter leash on this temper of mine.
After all, The Holy Spirit dwells in us if we are Believers.
He is there to manifest for us the fruit of self-control.
If we CHOOSE to surrender to His authority we find the CONTROL we need.
It’s already there—present in us.
So, to sum up:
Number One: Not all anger is wrong, but once understood, we still have to realize that even though our anger may be justified—we are still VERY accountable to God (and others) as to HOW, and even when, we express our frustrations.
Number Two: We need to check our own internal mirror before dealing with someone else in anger. More often than not, we will discover the real source of our resentment is not what someone else did, or is doing, but our own very selfish desires that are being blocked.
Number Three: When angry feelings begin to rise, we need to find some “space” to get alone with God and pray. Then, if necessary, speak to the issues, asking for God’s grace and wisdom in how to best deal with our conflict.
Finally: Realize, that sometimes? The wisest and most loving thing we can do is simply shut-up.
I AM pleased with you in spite of your anger and indignation.
(We have a way to go there.)
Still, I see. I know that you are treated miserably by those who know better.
(Shall I say it is okay to be angry?)
It is, but when I whisper to your spirit, “That is enough.” then—let it be enough.
Anger at sin is not a sin.
Cool off now. Throttle back. Listen… you will not be under their thumb forever. (No.) I AM preparing you.
Remember what I told you earlier?
“…it is better to give than receive.”
You thought, “What will you ask me to give today?”
Remember you also read, “The power to help others depends upon the acceptance of a trampled life.”
Well? Are you not walking in the path prepared for you?
Today—the thing I want you to give rather than receive is MERCY.
I AM not justifying this injustice.
(Oh no, assuredly not!)
I see how you are treated. But, you yourself saw earlier how this mistreatment would train you in knowledge, and understanding for helping others.
This situation is about to change dramatically!
I will relieve your shoulder. I will free your hands. (Yes, I will.) Meanwhile, will you trust Me just a little further?
I AM so proud of you! Abide in a spirit of self-control…
(And, let Me handle the bozo’s.)
“Now I will relieve your shoulder of its burden: I will free your hands from their heavy tasks.” Psalm 81:6