When Anger Rears Its Ugly Head (Proverbs 14:29)
Proverbs 14:29, "He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly."
The difference between those whose anger controls them and those who control their anger is not found in whether things happen to provoke anger. All of us are going to experience disappointments, hurts, and insults from time to time. The question is how we will respond. We have the choice of keeping our anger in check no matter what has transpired. While there is a time and a place for righteous anger, far more often we “fly off the handle” and respond in the heat of the moment. Thomas Jefferson said, “When angry, count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” Knowing that an immediate reaction is likely to be wrong, we should carefully consider our response when we are provoked. If you quickly grow angry and lose your temper your wrath will place you in great danger. There is great wisdom in being slow to wrath and controlling one’s anger (James 1:19; Proverbs 15:18).
In our case, our temper can cost us our job, our marriage, our health, our testimony and closeness with people we love. Temper tantrums can damage the relationship with your wife, kids, or friends, making it difficult to communicate or be close to them because they have been hurt by you or don't trust you. If you are a pastor that struggles with losing your temper, it can hinder your effectiveness in ministering to the people of your church. In fact, you may lose them. A lady once came to Billy Sunday and attempted to rationalize her angry outbursts. She said, “There’s nothing wrong with losing my temper. I blow up, and then it’s all over.” Mr. Sunday replied, “So does a shotgun, and look at the damage it leaves behind!”
There are some people who make excuses for their anger. They say, "It just runs in my family." Or belittle it by joking that they are like a loaded shotgun with a hair trigger. Anytime they are pushed into a corner, they blast away. Then they say, "Oh, well, my anger only lasts a little while." Well, so do tornadoes, but look at what damage they can cause! When you are quick to get angry, you can lose so much. You can lose your job, friends, children, wife, health, and testimony. There is nothing more debilitating, devastating, or unbearable to your Christian testimony than for you to fly off the handle.
We need to bring our anger to the Lord and ask Him to help us act like Him toward those who offend us. Some of us need to get before the Lord today and ask for help, because we know that we might not be angry right now, but it could happen before the lights are out tonight. And, we know that when anger comes, we will need God’s help to respond properly. Others have been simmering in your own anger for quite a while now. The best thing you can do is get to the Lord and ask Him to turn down the heat in your heart before you have a meltdown.
Submit your unbridled anger to God. Allow Him to redirect this powerful emotion for His glory. There will be plenty of things which will make you angry. How are you going to deal with them? If you give them to God, you will have peace; but if you hold onto them, you will be a wildfire waiting to break loose.
Prayer: Father, I know that sooner or later I will experience anger. Help me, to handle it wisely that it doesn’t control me. When that time comes give me strength to give it to You for Your glory and for me good so that it does not consume me. In Jesus name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.