How do you respond to conflicts? Is there a better way?
“Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:27)
Anger is a natural human emotion that is sometimes necessary and appropriate. Even Jesus became angry when confronted with the moneychangers in the temple: “And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves” (Matthew 21:12)
Righteous indignation is an appropriate response to evil, but God does not intend that anger should rule our lives. Far from it – God intends that we turn away from anger whenever possible and forgive our neighbors as quickly as we can find it in our hearts to do so.
Life is full of frustrations, some great and some small. On occasion, we, like Jesus, will confront evil. When we do we may respond as He did: vigorously and without reservation. But more often than not, our frustrations will be of the more mundane variety. As long as we live here on earth, we will face countless opportunities to lose our temper over small, relatively insignificant events: a traffic jam, a spilled cup of coffee, an inconsiderate comment, or a broken promise.
Some of us will create thoughts of revenge and God asks us not to take revenge but leave it up to Him:
If we have thoughts of doing evil to one another we must ask the Lord for forgiveness and take action on these thoughts. Angry words are dangerous to our emotional and spiritual health, not to mention our relationships. So treat anger as an uninvited guest, and usher it away as quickly – and as quietly – as possible. Life is too short to spend it being angry, bored, or dull.
“Anger breeds remorse in the heart, discord in the home, bitterness in the community, and confusion in the state.” (Billy Graham)
Forgive me and help me to turn away from angry thoughts. Help me always to use Jesus as my guide for life, and let me trust His promises today and forever. Because You have given Your children free will, the world is a place where evil threatens our lives and our spirits. Protect us, O God, from the evils and temptations to take revenge on our own. Amen.
Question: Do you let anger control you? Let’s ask God to heal us.