Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
Ok, ok, so that was kind of a crude title but geez Louise, look at THAT scripture!
Imagine for just a second what the world would look like if we, every one of us, heeded just this one scripture and surrendered to what the Lord is telling us. The God of the Universe is telling us to get rid of anger. Get RID of it. Get it gone! What’s the opposite of that? Suppressing it, holding it in, pretending like it’s not there when it is and then eventually living with the consequences: failed health, failed relationships, guilt and condemnation for acting in an ungodly manner towards others, etc. We are to worship in truth so be truthful- be angry but sin not. And expel the anger, keeping very short accounts.
If it is true that you are angry, admit it. Face it. Goodness gracious, don’t lie to yourself about it and paint it a pretty color to camouflage it. Acknowledge that it has its own energy and that you have to choose what to do with that energy. Sometimes that energy is the size of a grape that you can easily spit out and sometimes it feels like it might be a basketball in your gut that you have to puke out with great heaving. Sometimes it’s driven by righteous indignation and sometimes it’s driven by pure selfishness or an assumption that our opinion is more valuable than someone else’s opinion- void of the respect for free will that God grants every single one of us. (Free will…and respecting another’s right to theirs… is a condition for love to exist…. but that’s another day.)
Be angry but sin not! Here’s a reiteration of that thought- don’t insult. Don’t call people names. Don’t attack or tear down. Don’t cuss. Don’t cause anyone pain intentionally. But do get rid of it! Decide to develop the tools you need to divest of all anger and put those tools in place. Is it a safe person that can handle your expulsion without condemnation and with balance towards whomever else might be involved? Is it a big red plastic bat you can beat on your bed? (Yup, my favorite after my former husband cheated on me.) Is it ripping up phone books? Is it journaling? Is it crying? Is it riding alone in the car screaming it out? Is it intense prayer and time with the Lord? Whatever it is- your tools, your safe tools, put them in place and use them.
Anger is a cancer to relationships- with others and with ourselves. We can’t afford to sweep it under a rug or pretend it doesn’t exist. Look again at that scripture! If you don’t get rid of anger, you are liable for judgment, and perhaps even liable to the hell of fire. God is SERIOUS about us not being angry people.
Takeaway: We cannot treat anger in us lightly. It has to be dealt with honestly and thoroughly. God is serious about us not holding onto our anger and not abusing anyone with it. He is VERY serious. If we are a people who will commit to not being angry but to working through angry situations in a godly way, then the face of the planet changes: wars cease, marriages last, relationships across our lives are transformed. This is important stuff. It’s surrender. Surrender.
Prayer: Dear Lord, please let me see through Your eyes how seriously You take anger and therefore how seriously I should take anger. I want to be free of it and to have tools in place to remain free of it for the rest of my life. Teach me Your ways, Lord!