If you are married I’m willing to bet that there have been times when you’ve felt anger towards your husband or wife. Tell the truth, this is a Christian blog. There have been times in my marriage when I was so mad at my wife that I couldn’t see, think, or talk straight. She knows just the right buttons to push to send me into a child-like fit. I stomp and pout and don’t want to talk to her. And sometimes it lasts awhile, other times mere minutes and then she makes me laugh and I get over it.
Slow drivers. Here’s another example of what sends me into a rage. If you’re going to pull out in front of me then you need to accelerate in a manner that doesn’t cause me to switch lanes or go beneath my current rate of travel. Seriously, just wait another two seconds for me to pass or floor it. I am seeking professional help for my road rage issues.
Lazy coworkers. Ah, here’s a good one. When your manager assigns you a task, just do it. That’s what you’re paid to do. He’s paid to assign us work, and we’re paid to do as he says. Don’t question it, don’t pout, and don’t try your hardest to get out of the work. Chances are the time you’re spending trying to dump the work off on me could’ve been spent, by you, getting the task done.
So many problems could be avoided if we would learn to listen to the words of Jesus’ brother in the book of James; “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires“.
How do we deal with anger? I think there are a few main points we need to look at in order to effectively deal with our anger. First, Jesus knows how we feel, even He got angry.
While living on this earth I believe Jesus experienced anger several times. One instance that comes to mind for me is recorded in Matthew. Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers“.
He was clearly angry at the gamblers and the people who were buying and selling things in His fathers’ house. He overturned a table! Now I can’t say for sure that I have never turned over a table. But I can say for sure that I’ve kicked things, thrown things, and broke things out of anger. Jesus knows how we feel when we have our little angry outbursts, and he can relate. Talk to him, tell him whats upsetting you. He will listen and knows what we’re going through, and he’ll help if we listen.
Second, anger hurts others. So many times in my life I’ve said some pretty stupid things because of anger. Some of those things were said to a person that I loved dearly, and are no longer on this earth. I can’t take them back, I can’t turn back time and erase it. I can’t apologize and tell that person I’m sorry and that I was just angry and didn’t really mean it. I can’t make it right. Things we say out of anger are hurtful to those we truly love. If we’re not careful and learn how to control our tongue, we’re setting ourselves up to be just as hurt, if not more so, as the one receiving the blunt of our anger when we don’t get the chance to make it right.
Third, it’s usually not that big of a deal. Countless times in my life I’ve completely lost my common sense due to anger only to realize a short time later that it was pretty stupid. Most of the time the issue I’m so angry over is very insignificant, and it’s not worth the angry feelings and temper tantrums I’ve spent on it. Remember those bracelets that were popular several years ago; WWJD? What would Jesus Do? He wouldn’t act like I’m acting that’s for sure.
Jesus could’ve gotten angry when the hands he created were beating him and nailing him to the cross. He could’ve called down thousands of angels from heaven and had a good old-fashioned bar fight right there on Golgotha, and the angels would’ve cleaned house. But He didn’t. He controlled his anger and pain and remained on the cross to give us hope, and to set an example. Pure love held him on that cross, not anger. We need to remember that our anger does nothing for the good of God and our savior. When we’re angry we do not produce the righteousness God desires. I think I need to find one of those WWJD bracelets.