Anger can be awful. Fury and frustration build on the inside while peace vanishes. We express anger in different ways.
You may retreat and shut the door while your thoughts fester. You could become impatient, agitated and snappy.
You might bark at people, ensuring everyone knows you are cross. Perhaps you get huffy or moody. Maybe you explode when it reaches a crescendo.
When anger has built on the inside, it has to be released. The place to vent is not at the people around you, it is in prayer. When you feel incensed, release your steam in God’s presence.
Tell the Lord what has made you angry. King David said: “I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.” Psalm 142:2.
The Psalmist went to God and told Him what had angered him. The king went before God, knowing He is the ultimate judge who is able to bring justice. Once you have told Him, leave every ounce of anger at His feet.
You may regularly wrestle with rage or it could be just occasional. Either way, I want to reassure you, you can conquer anger.
James 1:19-20 in the Amplified gives us some pointers: “Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offence and to get angry…” Here are some steps to help you deal with anger towards the people around you.
1. Listen – It is amazing how much we all love to be heard. In contrast, the Bible tells us to listen. Simply taking the time to listen and making a point of trying to understand what others are saying will help a great deal.
2. Don’t Speak – When we are angry, we can be full of talk. Whether it comes out of my mouth or stays locked up within is not that relevant. Love believes the best. It does not jump to conclusions. Let’s refuse the rant that is trying to break forth and choose to love.
4. Don’t Take Offence – We like to use all sorts of words to disguise offence: “I’m not offended, I’m just cross…I’m not offended, I’m just upset!” These are simply different words for the same heart issue.
If we hold onto any one of these negative attitudes for any length of time, offence will take root in our hearts. Once offence finds a home in our hearts, it clouds our judgement, poisons our hearts and robs our joy. Offence is a choice, so refuse it every time.
5. Let It Go – Anger is not passive. It always creates negative energy on the inside and spoils lives. The final step is to let it go. God lets you and me off every time we miss it. Let’s be like Him. Let it go and keep letting it go until anger has no hold.
I encourage you to get my book Dreamstealers which deals with seven common inner issues that I call heart diseases. Left unchecked, these heart problems can stop us from fulfilling our purpose. Anger is one of them. Allow God to take you on a journey to peace and victory.