A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1
Anger is a troublemaker.
Remember those Allstate commercials with a character called Mayhem? The actor wears a nice black suit and tie, his face is bruised and bandaged, and he stirs up chaos wherever he goes. The ads are entertaining but in real life, there’s nothing funny about the troublemaker we all deal with.
When I see someone behaving badly and getting away with it, it makes my blood boil—especially when it involves slander, gossip, cruelty, or mistreatment of someone I love! These things make it mighty difficult for me not to lose my temper, to cry out against the injustice, and demand change. But what does my anger accomplish?
When I’m confronted with hurtful situations that I cannot change, rage only aggravates the problem. But when I cry out to God, these trials humble me. Nothing comes into my life that He does not already know about. I may not think anything good can come from it, but He knows!
How should we respond when anger, that old troublemaker, stirs up in us? We can start by taking the wisdom of Psalm 37 to heart.
It says, “Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm” (Psalm 37:7-8 NLT).
I have learned (sometimes the hard way) that, “Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires” (James 1:20). So often when we act out of anger to set things right, we only end up causing more harm.
Remember the example our Lord set for us.
“Who, when they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:22-23 NIV).
Friend, is there anyone you need to forgive? Today, is there anyone that you need to reach out to and seek forgiveness? Humble yourself and ask the Lord to restore.