Summary: Does your anger need to be controlled, condemned, conquered or channeled. Does it result in sinful or God honoring behavior. You do have a choice.
GOD’S ANSWER TO ANGER
The story is told of a man and woman who had been married for over 60 years. They had shared everything except there was one secret in their marriage. The wife had a shoe box in the top of her closet, and she had cautioned her husband never to open it and never to ask about it. He never did. But one day his wife got sick. It was determined that she would not recover. As they began to sort out her affairs, the husband took down the shoe box and took it to his wife. They agreed that it was time that she should explain the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $25,000. He lovingly asked her about the contents. She responded by saying “Just before we got married, my grandmother told me that the secret of a happy marriage was never to argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll. The husband was moved to tears, as he looked at the two dolls lying in the box. Only twice in all those years had his darling wife been angry with him. He said, “But what about all this money? How did you manage to save all of this money?” “Oh” she
answered, “that is the money I made from selling the dolls.”
Question: How much money would you have if you were paid every time that you have gotten angry? We all get angry and contrary to what some believe anger is not a sin. Anger is a God given emotion that can either serve you well or get you in a lot of trouble depending on how it is handled. We are told 375 times in the scripture that God got angry. From Moses to Nehemiah, from Ezra to Jesus, we are constantly told about times of anger in individual’s lives. The real issue is what you do when you get angry? How do you deal with it? Does your anger result in sinful or God honoring behavior?
Negative/sinful anger is expressed in a number of ways. There are Maniacs who tend to explode, yell, scream and act like raging lunatics. If you have ever seen one get mad and make a fool out of themselves, this is the guy. There are Mutes who simply turn in and silently do a slow burn. This is the crock pot version of anger where one steams and stews while denying that he is even angry. Of course everyone else knows. There are Martyrs who are professionals at throwing pity parties. They feel sorry for themselves and blame others for things gone wrong. The older brother (found in Luke 15) fits this profile quite well. There are the Manipulators. This is the Lee Iacocca version of anger whose attitude was “I don’t get mad, I get even.” The Pharisees in Jesus day, who in frustration turned on Jesus gives us a good picture of this group.
Rather than turn our attention to the consequences of misplaced anger: jobs lost, friendships ruined, spirituality destroyed, health, vitality, and joy taken away; let’s turn our attention to God’s answer when it comes to dealing with anger. And deal with it we must, for as one writer has aptly said: “Unrighteous anger is an acid that destroys its container.” Consider the following principles in dealing with your anger.