Have you ever been angry? I know I have. I suspect most, if not all of us, have been angry at one time or another…perhaps many more times than we would like to admit.
Anger is addressed in the Bible. For example, in the Book of James. The author writes: “…let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.”
Also, in Paul’s letter to the Galatians Paul shares: “For the works of the flesh are obvious: …strife, jealousy, anger, quarrel…”
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where someone else is angry? Again, I suspect most, if not all of us, have been at one time or another. I know I have. I remember years ago when I was with some pastors, a rather heated discussion dealing with how angry some pastors were with one another occurred. I admit, I was uncomfortable. For their anger was boiling over into their behavior and, frankly, anger dominated the discussion. And, unfortunately, their anger continued long after that day…even though other pastors did not see their anger justified.
I wonder, is anger always justified? Yes, at times it is. But often it is not. Especially when one is simply surprised by some unexpected news. Especially when one justifies anger by saying, “Yes, I am angry! I am just doing what I think is right. I do not want to even think about other possibilities.”
Really? Can that person not see that anger often leads to more negative thoughts…longer lasting problems…broken relationships?
Friends, when we get angry let’s take a deep breath and pause. Let’s take a moment to contemplate what other people are saying and why they are feeling what they feel. Yes, we might not like what we hear especially when we consider the picture others have of us. Still, it pays to be humble, does it not?
Remember to consider what the Bible shares with us. James invites us to “welcome with meekness the implanted word.” And in Paul’s letters when he talks about anger he generally follows up by suggesting how to live a more healthy life. He offers welcoming words of scripture…as in his letter to the Philippians where Paul shares: “Finally beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
May you and I continue to do so.