For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. -James 1:20
Imagine an experience in your life where you reached the boiling point of your anger. Someone may have provoked your anger by saying something that you didn’t agree with, or by doing something that you didn’t like. Someone may have purposely acted in a way that would elicit a negative reaction from you, or you may have been mad at yourself for not performing an action to a certain caliber. Whatever the reason, you were ticked off to the extreme. You may have expressed your anger by saying hateful things, cursing, resorting to physical violence or kicking/hitting objects around you. Whatever method of expression you chose, ask yourself the question: Did my actions during that moment honor God?
As the verse above states, the wrath, or anger, of man does not present the righteousness of our Heavenly Father. Therefore, when we are prompted to show our tempers, we should contemplate on how we should handle the situation in a way that honors God.
How Should Christians Handle Their Anger?
“A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.”
The book of Proverbs provides us with a fantastic piece of advice when it comes to the subject of anger with the verse above. According to God’s Word, people who are wise in the ways of the Lord will work to maintain their composure when they are angry in order to not cause a scene, while foolish people will be quick to throw a temper tantrum for all to see. Conversely, it is easier to preach this verse than it is to put it into practice. Sometimes people or circumstances will cause you to become furious beyond control, and your emotions will get the best of you; however, we should remember to focus on God and let Him handle the situation, for our anger will not make the matter better. A great method that can help us focus on God while we are angry is to immediately turn to Him in prayer. You don’t even have to bow your head or close your eyes; simply allow yourself a few minutes alone to utter a prayer, or even think of the prayer within your head. Either way, as long as you seek God’s guidance, He will hear you, and will be pleased that you turned to Him instead of wrath.
How Should Christians Practice Holding Back Their Anger?
“The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.”
The key to extinguishing our hate fire so to speak is to practice discretion whenever we become angry. Discretion can be defined as choosing what to do in a certain situation, or behaving in such a way that will not offend anyone or reveal personal information. For Christians, practicing discretion can mean that we choose to approach our anger with a method that reflects the righteousness of God rather than making a public display of ourselves. For example, one may use prayer as a first resort when anger strikes. Whenever we react to a situation in a way that honors God, bystanders will notice that we have acquired a peaceful spirit due to our love for Christ. For all you know, anytime that you remain calm during a situation where your anger has been kindled, you may be witnessing to a non-Christian about the peace of mind that comes with following Jesus. To expand further upon the chance of a witnessing opportunity, consider Ephesians 4:26-27, “‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.” Yes, we can be angry, but we must deal with it in a way that does not honor Satan.
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”
So, fellow Christians, let’s work to abide by God’s advisement in James 1:19. When we take the time to listen to all sides of an argument or perceive options from all angles of a situation, we are able to consider the rationale of those who may have offended us or discover alternative methods of solving the problem. When we consider our words before we speak, we are able to monitor our words so that we do not let vile or hateful words spew out and further contaminate our situation. Lastly, when we are slow to wrath, we will have a peaceful mindset overall. When we are slow to anger, we demonstrate our love for Jesus to others. When we hold back temper tantrums, we will be happier in the long run.
Good day and God bless!
Featured image found at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/462111611743799430/
Featured image attributed to: Sobriety By The Grace of God ©