Richard (Dick) Innes' Devotion: More on Anger (Ephesians 4:26 )
By Boaz Wadel
"If you are angry, don't sin by nursing your grudge. Don't let the sun go down with you still angry-get over it quickly; for when you are angry you give a mighty foothold to the devil."1
What do you do when you get mad? Do you explode and "blow your top"-or try to hide how you are truly feeling? Do you deny being angry altogether, or just say you are upset, or do you go quiet and withdraw, or act in a phony saccharine sweet manner? Or do you handle your anger in a healthy and creative way?
Anger, for many of us, isn't easy to handle, but when we deny it, try to hide it, or repress it, it comes out in many self-destructive ways such as a negative and critical attitude, nagging, sarcasm, personal or marriage conflicts, or many physical symptoms such as ulcers, asthma, arthritis, heart ailments or any of a score of others.
There is nothing of itself wrong with anger. It is a God-given legitimate and needed emotion. For instance, we ought to get angry at evil and at actions that destroy people. Recall how Jesus dealt with the money changers who misused God's temple. He drove them out with a whip.2 It's what we do with our anger and how we handle it that counts. It isn't helpful or right to lash out and hurt others. Neither is it helpful or right to nurse our anger (grudges). As today's Scripture reminds us, it is important that we resolve anger (and all negative emotions) as quickly as possible.
To handle anger creatively-that's the key. For help be sure to read the article, "Taming Your Anger" at: www.actsweb.org/articles/article.php?i=61&d=1&c=5&p=1.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you have created me with many emotions all of which are needed for healthy and creative living. Whenever I am hurt or angry, deliver me from the sin of denial, and please help me to be honest about my feelings, admit what I am truly feeling, and learn how to handle them in a creative, loving and healthy manner all for your glory. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Ephesians 4:26 (TLB) (NIV).
2. John 2:15.