Anger –a temperament that draws attention no matter when or where it is displayed. When we think of anger, we often think of it as it relates to a person who is enraged, acting irate, or who’s behavior is out of control. At least that’s what comes to mind when I think of the word anger.
When it comes to anger, I often think of this famous saying by an old playwright, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Personally, I find this statement to be accurate. I don’t think hell had anything on me in the past during my times of anger, especially when I wasn’t closely connected to the Lord.
Thinking back on how many times I allowed myself to act out of character because of what others said or did to me causes me to cringe. I ultimately did more damage than good to myself by letting anger get control of me.
I can recall the night that I became so angry with my then boyfriend, because he was cheating on me, that I went to the house that he and his ‘other’ girlfriend were at and smashed up his nice, little convertible mustang. Now, you may think, what would cause someone to become so angry that they’d do such a thing?
First, when we have not been born again, we walk in the flesh with no spiritual keeper and we are constantly tempted by evil thoughts. It is only after we give our lives to Christ that we have the Holy Spirit to guide us and keep us in alignment with what the Word says is right to do. So back then, I wasn’t walking in God’s will and I chose to allow the devil to have his way.
Looking back on the night I busted up my ex-boyfriend’s car, I would say that I was hurt and angry, but really I was downright furious. Though I was in love with him at the time, anger allowed me to hold a sledgehammer in my hand and take it to the man’s car with no regrets. There was no thought about the possible consequences that could have followed my foolish actions. That’s what anger will do to you.
It will take you completely out of your right mind and have you acting out immaturely and irrationally. In the moment, I felt damaging his car was the only way I could show him how upset I was. I had allowed the hurt to build up over time and it caused me to do something completely crazy.
No doubt hurt causes anger, but pent up hurt causes flat-out, off the charts rage, which unfortunately only causes more damage. Just imagine how different that whole scenario could have gone had I stopped and prayed to God for guidance.
How many times have we simply reacted to a person or situation that makes us mad before taking the time to think, pray, and ask God for direction?
It took me years to learn to control my anger. I had moments when I became angry that I would break things, throw things, or even hit things. Later, I would cry and feel so bad about what I had done, but by then the damage was already done.
Today, I thank God for delivering me from my anger and for allowing me to clearly see the things that were occurring in my life that caused me to act out in such violent ways. I am grateful that I have learned to walk away from situations when I begin to feel myself getting angry. I will leave from a room, a party, or a workplace if I have too in order to keep my peace and sanity intact.
In the past, I didn’t do that. I stayed in a position of defense and was always ready for combat. It was the one thing I knew to do. Because my first love had physically fought with me and cheated on me, I had to learn to fight back. Though I wasn’t much competition physically, I could lay down some words that hurt just as deeply.
How does that saying go, “Hurt people, hurt people”?
For the longest time, if I felt that others were a threat to me, I became that hurt, scorned female who would hurt them first. It became so bad that my oldest child would get angry and in a rage act out just like me, breaking items and hitting objects. Deep down, I knew that wasn’t good at all.
Over the years, I’d heard of anger management and I’d heard of God. As I gravitated closer to God, I learned to discipline my emotions by reading and studying His Word. Over time, I began to heal, and I became stronger. His Word equipped me to handle tough situations, ridicule, hurt, and much more. I learned to choose my words carefully before saying things that I could not take back. I no longer allowed my anger to get the best of me and control me. I had learned to pause and breathe.
The book of Psalms tells us:
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” Psalm 103:8 NKJV
I pray so shall we be.
We must not be easily offended. We must have mercy on those who do us wrong. Instead of trying to get back at them out of anger, we must pray for them and forgive them for their wrongful ways. Believe me, I know that is easier said than done but when we begin to follow Christ and live a life pleasing to Him, we must put away our old sinful nature. And that bad temper of ours has to go!
Just as we must be mindful of our reactions and responses to our children, we must do the same when others upset us. In other words, we must learn to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19). It’s a process that we as Christians all have to go through, especially those of us who have experienced any type of trauma in our lives.
The Lord desires for us to obey His Word and walk worthy of Him. He doesn’t want us fussing and fighting and carrying on ignorantly. His will for us is to exemplify His nature and be at peace with all men.
It requires both fasting and praying to be at peace with our enemies, but it is doable. We must remember that all of our help comes from the Lord. All we have to do is call upon Him and He will deliver us from evil and keep our minds in perfect peace. We need the Word of God to help keep our thoughts pure. Having said that, Joyce Meyer wrote a wonderful book entitled “The Battlefield of the Mind,” in which she gives scriptures that can help us battle against those thoughts that come to fight us in our minds and keep us in turmoil. I highly recommend it.
If we come close to God, we will be able to walk in love instead of hate and anger. Ephesians 4:26 tells us that we can display anger, but we must not sin in it. There will always be moments, when we get upset, but God commands us not to let the sun go down on our anger. With His help, we can do just that.
Melody is the founder of M.O.R.E. – Mothers Overcoming Real-life Experiences. You can follow her at https://www.facebook.com/groups/wearemore2gether/ on Facebook or @moreofmelody on Instagram.
Check out her contribution to this brand-new book: 20 Beautiful Women: 20 More Stories that will Heal Your Soul, Ignite Your Passion, and Inspire Your Divine Purpose – Melody Hansley. Available at amazon.com.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.