“If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin” (Ephesians 4:26 GNT).
Unfortunately, most of us express our anger in ways that get us further from our goals instead of moving us closer to them.
For example, here are three things to avoid when you’re angry:
Don’t suppress your anger. Don’t store it up inside. When you suppress anger without expressing it in proper ways, it’s like taking a soft drink bottle and shaking it up. One day it’s going to pop! It’ll impact your body eventually. Doctors tell us a number of physical ailments are often brought on by suppressed anger.
Don’t repress it. When you repress your anger, you simply deny it’s there. Deny your anger often enough and you’ll be depressed. When I used to do more counseling, I’d hear many people tell me they were depressed, but they were really just angry. They just didn’t think that Christians should get angry, so they simply bottled it up inside. Denying anger is a sin. It’s called lying.
Don’t express it in inappropriate ways. We can express anger in a variety of inappropriate ways. We pout, spit sarcasm, manipulate, or do something stupid (get drunk, have affairs, etc.). None of those approaches get us anywhere near the result we’re looking for.
So what should we do with our anger?
Confess it. You don’t just admit the anger, but you also admit the cause. You tell God — and whoever you’re angry with — that you’re frustrated or you feel threatened. The more honest you can be in your relationships, the easier it will be to get to the root causes of your anger.
Here’s the good news about your anger: You may have grown up in a home where anger was consistently expressed in inappropriate ways. Inappropriate anger is learned, but it can be unlearned, too. You can change. You don’t have to stay the same.
LET MY LOVE STREAM THROUGH YOU, washing away fear and distrust. A trusting response includes Me in your thoughts as you consider strategies to deal with a situation. My continual Presence is a promise, guaranteeing that you never have to face anything alone. My children teethe on the truth that I am always with them, yet they stumble around in a stupor, unaware of My loving Presence all around them. How that grieves Me! When you walk through a day in trusting dependence on Me, My aching heart is soothed. Gently bring your attention back to Me whenever it wanders away. I look for persistence — rather than perfection —in your walk with Me.
But I am like an olive tree
flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
for ever and ever.
PSALM 52 : 8
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified
because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will
never leave you nor forsake you.”
DEUTERONOMY 31 : 6
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom
you were sealed for the day of redemption.
EPHESIANS 4 : 30