Are you angry at someone? About something?
Anger is a common human emotion — something we all experience. In and of itself, it's not wrong or sinful, but it is dangerous. It all depends on how you handle it. Remember, the words “anger” and “danger” are only 1 letter apart. Anger gets you very close to some very dangerous things!
We live in an extremely angry culture. Seething, stewing and spewing are all around us, and unfortunately in many of us. Anger rules lots of people and leaves behind a wake of pain and a host of casualties. When you're angry you often say things you shouldn't say, behave in ways you shouldn't behave and fight battles you don't need to fight.
Angry attitudes and actions mess up marriages, ruin friendships, drain our emotional energy, cloud our judgment, reduce our productivity, prompt bad decisions and even weaken our immunity. Medical researchers have discovered that hostility is horrible for your health — physically and psychologically. It's also one of the main causes of spiritual problems in people.
It's not just the “big anger” that gets us into trouble. Even small amounts of anger are dangerous. Why? Because given the right environment, small anger grows into big anger.
Here's the principle: Whatever you focus on is magnified in your mind and emotions.
The more you think and talk about how badly you feel someone treated you, how unfair some situation was, how rude a person behaved, how irritating or inconsiderate an individual is, the bigger the anger becomes in you. It's called “nursing your anger.” And remember: anything you nurse, grows!
God gives us some valuable advice about how to handle anger:
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. — Proverbs 15:1 (NLT)
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. — Proverbs 17:9 (NLT)
A wise man restrains his anger and overlooks insults … — Proverbs 19:11 (TLB)
Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back. — Proverbs 29:11 (NLT)
If you are angry, don't sin by nursing your grudge. Don't let the sun go down with you still angry– get over it quickly; for when you are angry, you give a mighty foothold to the devil. — Ephesians 4:26, 27 (TLB)
Stop being mean, bad- tempered, and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ. — Ephesians 4:31, 32 (TLB)
The next time you're angry, apply God's advice and see what happens!