Tonight’s family service looked at anger management. Anger is an emotion which can cause us a lot of problems, usually because when we are angry, our tongues work faster than our brains! – we say things we easily regret, lashing out in temper and hurting others. It’s not simply the fact that we get angry which causes problems for us (after all, God gets angry too!), however; it’s how we handle the anger that makes the difference.
Jesus demonstrates for us how we can be angry without sinning (see John 2:13-16, Eph 4:26-27). Even when He cleansed the temple (having taken the time to make the whip of cords), He was in control; His anger was righteous and He did not simply react out of selfish pique or fury. There are indeed issues which should make us angry (injustice, corruption, cruelty and so on), but anger must be balanced by love (see 1 Cor 13:4-8). Love conquers anger; a kiss conquers a slap.
1 Tim 2:8 shows us that prayer is one way we can manage anger, bringing our anger before God and allow Him to control that through His Spirit. We need to avoid holding on to grudges and letting our anger fester; as Eph 4:26-27 reminds us, we need to sort out things that make us angry as soon as possible to avoid giving the devil any foothold in our lives.