Sometimes in the heat of the moment, we say and do things in anger. Causing even more strife and misunderstanding than if whatever needed saying or doing was done in a better and less offensive way.
To be honest, I’ve done that many times i.e. react in anger and then, think later 🤷😏 I mean we can all hide behind words such as, it’s only human nature, etc. When I come to think of it, this passive aggressive attitude towards anger is not good for myself or anyone else too.
And this brings to mind my dad, late Ret Rev Vavia Kara, his favorite bible verse:
In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
Ephesians 4:26 (NIV)
My dad was very short tempered, my siblings bore the brunt of his discipline – me, being daddy’s girl – not so much. And as I grew older, I always wondered why he made this verse, his favourite.
I’m beginning to understand, why, as I read the bible and many devotionals from the Bible app. And also from speaking with other family members, on the topic of anger. I believe, dad understood his weakness – his Achilles Heel, which was his short temper or being quick to get angry. He purposely used this bible verse to ground himself.
So what is this anger! What are some dictionary definitions: as a noun (a naming word) anger is defined as a strong feeling of being upset or annoyed because of something wrong or bad : the feeling that makes someone want to hurt other people, to shout, etc. : the feeling of being angry. As a verb (doing word) – fill (someone) with anger; provoke anger in (English Language Learners Definition of anger).
I also read somewhere (apologies I can’t recall the source) in psychology there are three types of anger which help shape how we react in a situation that makes us angry. These are: Passive Aggression, Open Aggression, and Assertive Anger. If you are angry, the best approach is Assertive Anger. But I’m not a psychologist so I will not delve into all of that.
There are many definitions of anger and so many things that make us angry but if you think about it, anger is simply a reaction we naturally have mainly when others have not met the expectations we have of them.
So what do we do? Do we lower our expectations of others or not have any expectations at all? Do we cut ties with others so we don’t have a relationship which means we have no expectations?
Can you imagine a life without God because mankind has displeased him so much that he is angry and remains unforgiving- what would the world look like if we only had an angry God?
A God, inspite of our shortcomings, who allows us to be angry, our sin of disobedience- yet he continues to love us. To the point where He sent His only Son to die on the cross for our sins that we may have eternal life?? How gracious is our God.
Therefore why should we remain angry people, when our creator, ALMIGHTY God himself has saved us? I like this bible verse Ephesians 4:16 because it does not say that we should not be angry – however it’s encouraging us, we can get angry, but we must not let our anger lead us to sin nor should we let the sun go down on our anger.
During a conversation with my kids, one of them pointed out that in the darkness, bad things lurk so this verse is telling us not too be angry in the darkness as we would be setting ourselves up for more danger. We cannot let anger distance us from God and others. Rather we must learn to reach out to God, to help us through it all. Yes some anger is righteous and others unhealthy.
This verse reminds us not to respond to anger with anger, rather we must respond with God’s love and heart. To help us show kindness rather than wrath. Stand firm in our faith and help each other out, encourage each other with prayer and worship.
To conclude, understand your Achilles Heel, your weak link that the devil will use against you – whether it’s anger or anything else for that matter! Read the bible, pray about it and most importantly commit it to God to help you overcome it. Finally here are two encouraging bible readings:
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
James 1:19-20 NIV
Whoever is patient has great understanding,
but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
Proverbs 14:29 NIV