James 1:19-20 NKJV
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Have you ever let the circumstances happening around you get you angry or upset? Maybe you were having a good day, but someone or something spoils it for you? It could have been something simple or completely blindsided you like that speeding truck you didn’t see coming?
Every one of us have areas we are working on so we can better honor God, and anger was one thing I had to address over the years. I would love to say that I have conquered all the facets of such a negative and destructive emotion, but like many others I can still feel its raw edges cutting at me from time to time ready to burst forth. I have learned that an explosive reaction usually never produces a positive outcome and have spent time discovering better ways of recognizing its onset.
You might be asking yourself that if I have been working on it for years then why is it still such hot topic in my life now? First of all, the enemy is patient and looks to exploit any weakness. It used to be easy for this to happen till I finally turned to God for the strength and guidance I needed to get a handle on it. As I made time for God and studied His word, I found many of the answers that I was looking for and the peace that came with it.
Along my journey I have also found out that once we begin to feel this peace we slowly let our guard down. One time, as I was enjoying a particularly peaceful time in my walk with Christ, I let myself become prideful and in my arrogance I had to face one of the most difficult times in my life. I felt betrayed, alone, and vulnerable. I was frustrated, angry, and screaming at the world. I was not very pleasant to be around and could have easily destroyed my family, my career, and my life.
Have you ever reached this point? What did you do? I had to accept the responsibility for my actions that led me there, then I placed it in God’s hands. Besides praying the Armor of God from Ephesians 6:10-20, I carried around a card with Luke 10:19 on it, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” All this brought me through and back onto the path God had for me.
I still have moments where I can feel the anger begin to rise, but I am better equipped to handle it now. I had to smile the other day when I was in a good place mentally, then suddenly something slipped out on my hand. As I picked it up and it fell again and again and again. I felt the anger and frustration start to rise, but was quick to recognize it. The smile came when my thoughts went to, “This is only a test of the anger broadcasting system.”
It’s moments like these that allow me to remain alert not only for my own sake, but so I can help those around me when they encounter similar situations as I have had happen recently. When I hear the same comments of how someone lied or was betrayed I am drawn back to my ordeal, but I now have the hindsight of knowing the path through. I have found answers for myself and others in God’s word and have seen the relief they can bring. The alternative route usually brings mounting frustration, rising anger, or sometimes violent outbursts that can make a bad situation even worse.
Have you ever seen how a quickly made sharp edged comment turns into a confrontation? Maybe it was you that didn’t hit the brakes on your words and instead hit the gas even though there was a cliff fast approaching. I know it used to be me with the lead foot and a missing brake pedal till I took the time to search for answers in God’s Word.
I started with anger and found that the Book of Proverbs had several short verses that were relevant to my search. There was Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” and Proverbs 29:11, “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” However, my favorite had to be Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
It is truly amazing that a book that was written thousand of years ago can continue to be so important till you remember that it is the word of God. The answers to a thousand questions are at your fingertips, but as intriguing as this was I also found that controlling what I said was only half the battle. The next step is to forgive those who were the subject of the controversy. This is in the same realm as the words Christ spoke when he was being crucified. Luke 23:34, “Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
We are asked to do the same thing as we face those who come against us and in Ephesians we find two sets of verses that describe this. Ephesians 4:26-27, “don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil” and Ephesians 4:31-32, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
The next time you are tested, ask God to search your heart. Then call upon his strength to forgive those who have hurt you, so you can release that bottled up anger rather than it come out in an uncontrolled explosion. As you do please enjoy, “Find Inside Your Peace.”
FIND INSIDE YOUR PEACE
Some days I feel so overwhelmed that I just can’t think,
Everything I’m being asked to do has pushed me to the brink.
I thought I was following the right path to where I needed to be,
But I find I may have been misled to a place not safe for me.
I can feel the anger and frustration welling up inside,
I’m afraid it will soon burst forth then from it I can not hide.
All the lies and accusations from someone that I’ve trusted,
Have cut me so very deeply and left me feeling disgusted.
I want to scream and yell or find something I can break,
Then I cry out dear Lord, just how much more can I take?
Child, everything that you are feeling inside is it real or imagined,
I understand you are in pain, but are you really that damaged?
You need to pause and take a breath to think of what you will say,
Is your response going to be filled with anger or destructive in any way?
All those unkind words as you lash out when you feel frustrated,
Can make even the ones who you love, feel as if they are hated.
It is difficult when you feel it creeping ready to rear its ugly head,
So hold your tongue before it creates a moment that you’ll dread.
You must try to remember to forgive to let your anger release,
Feel my strength fore I am with you and Find Inside Your Peace.