In my previous blog about anger (click here for part 1) we talked about what anger really is, how it is triggered and what the Bible has to say about it. It was not an in depth study, but just to set the foundation for and gain a better understanding of some basic truths about anger.
Today I want to shine the spotlight on what our response to anger should be as believers. Let’s face it and be honest with ourselves; anyone can get angry and respond irrationally at times without thinking things through. It takes godly men and women with discipline and character to hold their tongue, settle the rage and allow the Lord to reign in an area the enemy is fighting for.
We are called to contend for our faith. Contending involves struggling and fighting for something and in the area of anger and our response to it, we are not exempt. The enemy wants to use anger against us to destroy us.
The Bible reminds us that a fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back. (Proverbs 29:11) How do we not lose our temper? How do we learn to control ourselves so we don’t make fools of ourselves?
We all struggle with anger in some way or another. But if we cannot control our temper and often experience outbursts or perhaps nuclear explosions of anger, I hope the following practical steps will encourage us to grow in our understanding of how to defeat the devil in this critical area of our emotional lives as human beings and believers.
THE CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO ANGER
1. Attack the problem, not the person.
Sadly, we tend to fight people and thus increase the level of anger. But our struggle is never against people, we do well to keep this in mind. Attacking an individual will only relieve our angry emotions temporarily, because the enemy will continue his relentless attack once he knows what our default response is. We are not ignorant of his schemes, as Paul says, so let’s be careful of how we respond and try our best to not attack the individual, but instead discern offense and the spirit behind it, so we can give the appropriate spiritual response. Ephesians 4:29, 31
2. Act, don’t react.
If we are honest with ourselves, many of our problems with anger are a knee jerk reaction. We need to stop, take inventory of the situation, breathe and give the proper response. As believers, the proper response is to forgive and let it go. We need to be daily submitted to the lordship of Christ. He desires to be Lord over all aspects of our lives, our response mechanism included (Ephesians 4:31-32). Knee jerk reactions, anger and frustration, will do nothing to make us overcomers in an area where the devil is trying to gain a foothold in our lives. Let’s stop reacting, let’s assess and remember that on the cross, Christ forgave those who put Him there. Who can claim a worse offense than this?
3. Returning good for evil.
This idea may be utopic for some, but it absolutely is not if we believe the Bible and accept that retribution belongs to God. We have seen how social injustice and quarrels have only caused evil to reproduce more evil. When the families of the victims of Emmanuel AME Church in the Charleston, USA shooting spoke forgiveness in the face of the darkest of evil, they put Romans 12:21 (Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.) into practice before a world who screams revenge and retribution.
Social injustice and quarrels have only caused evil to reproduce more evil.
We are called to be bringers, speakers and practitioners of peace, not of anger, strife and revenge. Anyone who promotes such feelings of angst and further confrontation of evil with evil, has not understood grace, repentance and forgiveness. If you struggle with this, please stop and take a minute to pray this prayer from your heart: “Father, I pray you strengthen me in this area and cause me to love and forgive in the toughest of relational struggles. You are just and know how to deal with all in a fair manner. We choose to trust you, in Jesus’ name.”
When we give into anger, relationships can be severely impacted. Tension and damage rises between spouses, parents and children, coworkers, friends and the church body. Many relationships have never recovered because of explosive anger and words spoken in a moment of losing control.
It’s impossible to worship God and have an effective prayer life when anger is at the forefront of our lives. Like a barrier that trips us at every turn, our spirits dry up and our prayers seem to bounce from the ceiling right back down back to us.
We are called to submit to God and resist the devil; that is the only effort required on our part to make him flee from us.
Write these 3 steps down, practice them and over time you will overcome anger. Let’s never forget that forgiveness will always yield positive results.
Davide has a unique communication style that has given him a platform in the marketplace to use his “get the job done” skill set.God has instilled in Davide a passion to equip the body of Christ through teaching, mentoring and speaking life through experience and wisdom of years.He is deeply passionate about pursuing and cultivating the presence of God. He currently lives with his wife of 31 years, Lois in Charlotte, NC. They have 3 amazing children with their married spouses.