Overcome Your Anger

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:26-27, “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Do not give the devil a foothold.” This tells you something very important, that it is acceptable to be angry. God never told you not to be angry. As a matter of fact, even Jesus got angry. In John 2:13 it says, “He went to the temple where he saw tables set up for buying and selling, like a business. He became angry when He saw that the temple, which should have been a place of prayer and worship, had been converted to a business.” Jesus overturned the tables and made everyone leave because he was angry, but He did not sin in His anger. Further, Mark 3:5 says, speaking of Jesus, “He looked around at them in anger, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts.” It is okay to be angry, anger is an emotion, it is a feeling. To suppress the feelings and emotions that God created in you is unhealthy because that repression of anger will always express itself somewhere in some way.

The constructive expression of anger can even be helpful. If you can communicate to another person that something they have said or done has been hurtful, then maybe you can change the situation or the person so that you are not hurt again. If you cannot communicate your hurt and anger, you will find yourself in the same circumstances over and over; you will need to break the cycle by dealing with your anger.

Another insight about anger is that unresolved anger causes problems. Verse 27 says, “Do not give the devil a foothold.” The word for foothold means “a place,” or “an opportunity.” You can’t give the devil an opportunity or a foothold where he can get into your life. Unresolved anger gives the enemy an opportunity to lead you into unkind thoughts, actions and words, all of which have consequences.

Unresolved anger can even cause health problems. The University of Tennessee completed a study on women and anger in which they discovered that many health problems, such as depression, headaches, obesity and autoimmune diseases are the direct results of allowing unresolved anger to fester. Such anger-related illness is more common in women because men are more likely to express their anger. The reality is that many times your anger stems from unrealistic expectations which you place on yourself. You become angry when you cannot change frustrating circumstances at work, when family members, friends and co-workers fail to live up to your expectations, or when you believe you are being treated unfairly or disrespectfully. The anger triggered by these things is normal; it is what happens if the anger goes unresolved that can cause problems. The circumstances and consequences of unresolved anger affect all our lives, even though we try to go through life avoiding the subject.

Verse 26 says, “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” which simply means deal with your anger. It is acceptable to be angry but we must deal with our anger to avoid the problems caused when anger remains unresolved. My wife and I took this particular scripture to heart when we got married making a covenant that we would never go to bed at night and still be angry with each other. We have had a few discussions that have taken us early into the morning, but it has worked for us.

 

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