How often have you had those moments where you get so angry that you just want to rage out? It’s something that, as humans, is a very real and common emotion and reaction to situations particularly when we feel we’ve been wronged or someone we care about has been wronged. When those moments come, how you handle them? Do you let fester until you get to the breaking point, do you lash out immediately, or try your best to remove yourself from the situation before it gets too far? I’m no stranger to anger believe me and I have probably had every one of these reactions at some point.
This came to mind to discuss after an incident occurred a few days back that about drove me to the point where I was going to break. I won’t get into those details, but it was a situation where I felt some kids were wronged and the longer I saw it occur, the madder I became. To the point where I finally did burst out more than I should have. I did not get out of control, but I certainly let my anger be known. For those that know me personally, they know it takes quite a bit to get me riled up and this situation pushed me there.
15 years ago, I wouldn’t have cared so much. My wife and I joke about it now, but when I was younger, I was quick to snap if I got even just a look from someone I did not care for. I’ve sense grown from that, and now it’s something where I stay as calm as I can through it. Truth be told, I hate conflict.
So, as I reflected on the situation after walking away from it, I realized that maybe I needed to check my reaction. I knew I was justified in my anger, but I probably did not go about handling it as best I could. That night and especially the couple days, I went into scripture and prayer. Just like any battle that comes in life, anger is an emotion that can go too far. Paul says in Ephesians 4:26-27, “…don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” Anger can consume you and if you don’t control it, it distorts your thinking and your emotions. In Daniel 3:19, Nebuchadnezzar became so enraged that his face became distorted.
What I have found is that if you can step away from a situation that does make you angry, you can manage through it before getting to the point where words are said that have longer lasting effects. Fortunately, I was able to do this the other day. I knew the best thing was to walk away and I did. Proverbs 17:14 says, “Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a dispute breaks out.”
Anger is a spiritual battle we all have to deal with in this world. While it may be easy to just unleash, the best thing you can do before going to far is to step back and pray and immerse yourself in God’s Word. There you can find the peace you need to handle the situation. This does not mean that confronting those that wronged you is not needed, but having the right motives and mindset when confronting will resolve the issues a lot better.
Now, I write this, but this mean I won’t get angry again…of course not. In this fallen world, it will happen again and again to us all. I just know the more I grow spiritually, that I need to find a way to manage myself and my anger so I don’t take it to a point that we don’t want it go. G.M. Trevelyan stated, “Anger is a momentary madness, so control your passion or it will control you.” This is the biggest thing. Don’t let your anger get the better of you and let the adversary infiltrate you more. Seek God and you can fight this battle and win.