Controlling anger lest it control you

We are surrounded by anger. It seems that just about everyone is seething about something. Sometimes this anger erupts suddenly out of nowhere and other times it takes a long time before it boils over. Anger in and of itself is not automatically wrong, for there are occasions when Jesus Himself would get angry. But, when anger becomes a way of life, habit or chronic problem; it is time to get it under control lest it become a major stumbling block for our walk or for those around us.

We have all encountered “hot heads” . They are like a keg of dynamite just waiting for a spark to blow up. This kind of sudden and destructive anger is rarely right and almost always harmful to someone. Anger that manifests itself as being abusive or hurtful MUST be brought under control or it will ruin the person manifesting it and those closest to him. The key to dealing with anger issues is simply stated in Ephesians 4:26, 27. Here is how these two verses are translated in the Amplified Bible:

26When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.

27Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].

We cannot always stop anger when it arises (and at times we should not stop it), but we can stop that anger from causing us to sin. When we allow anger to justify shooting our mouth off and saying things that are not edifying; we have allowed anger to make us sin. When we allow anger to ruin our day, spoil our relationships and keep us from being a blessing to others; we have allowed anger to make us sin. Any time we allow anger to make us say or do things contrary to what the Word of God says; we have allowed anger to make us sin.

A simple way to keep anger from controlling your life is to make sure you deal with it before you go to bed at night. This is especially important within a marriage, family or church. If people go to bed angry, they will wake up even angrier. When this cycle is repeated day after day for a period of time, the inevitable result is not only sin but giving the devil the opportunity to establish a foothold in your home or church. As long as anger is dealt with immediately, the door stays shut for the enemy to use that anger to his advantage.

When people are angry all the time at everyone and everything, they become unbearable to be around which makes them even angrier. Chronic anger must be brought under control or it will breed resentment, bitterness and other ugly things that literally destroy a person's walk with God. Hardness of heart is the direct result of unbridled anger and bitterness built up over a long period of time. We know the pitfalls of becoming hard and callused in our heart, for they are brought up many times in the Bible.

There are different words used in the texts for anger, wrath, etc. It behooves us to learn the difference in these words and find out which ones are allowable and which ones need to be put away with the old nature. As time allows, I will try to re-research these words and present them to anyone interested. In the meantime, I pray we all calm down and stop allowing anger to break our fellowship with God and each other. I pray that we count to 10 (or 100 if necessary) before allowing anger to explode within us, manifesting itself as rage or fury. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to manifest forgiveness, kindness and patience when anger is controlling the situation.