As I write this article, I’m sitting here in my office where I spent a lot of time listening to God, discerning his will, reading the Bible, putting sermons together, doing committee work, meeting with people and so on. I have a lot of different pictures in my office of my family who are all very precious to me. I also have some funny pictures: hiking picture with a bear in it and a picture that says: things to do today-- Wake up eat ice cream. Take a nap. Repeat. I am not sure why people would give this to me. LOL
I want to talk to you today about anger and the conflicts that can happen within our daily lives. It seems like people are really angry. There are people fighting at airports, on airplanes, grocery stores and it's not verbal fighting, it is swinging fists fighting.
Why are people so angry? I think a lot of it has come from the covid situation and all the unknowns. There is a lot of anger out there. The question is, how can we deal in a positive way with our anger because we are all going to get angry.
Ephesians 4:26-27 says “be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil”.
We're going to get angry in our marriages, with our friends, with our parents and with our children. It is a part of who we are but we have to express it in a positive manner. No one likes conflict but we can’t just shove it under the table because it will build and build and then all of a sudden something little happens and it explodes.
We all have different ways of dealing with anger. But how can we positively deal with anger? The verse cited above says “don't let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity to the devil”. Wrong expression of anger can hurt people. I'm sure all of us have had times where we've said things or did something out of anger that hurt people.
How can we deal positively with anger? The first way that we can deal with it is to pray. We need help from the Holy Spirit to deal with anger. A cooling off period is often a good first step.
We want to be able to talk about it, but we want to be able to do it in a positive way and so often a time of prayer and just asking the Holy Spirit to give us perspective is helpful.
The second thing that helps us to deal with anger is to think about how Jesus dealt with being crucified on a cross. Jesus was innocent and He could have reacted with anger but instead He says, “father forgive them for they know not what they do”. Wow. Jesus forgives and gives mercy and grace. Forgiveness and extending grace and mercy are key elements in dealing with our anger.
Listening to music, reading the Bible, writing down our feelings are other constructive ways to deal with our anger. Nobody
likes conflict. But conflict will happen and so we have to be able to work at it in healthy ways so that God will be honored and glorified.
Anger is something we all deal with especially in these times. Let's make sure that are dealing with it in a healthy way as we give grace and mercy to each other as Jesus did.