One of the fiercest and most damaging enemies of relationships is anger. Poorly managed anger and unresolved anger have destroyed more marriages, friendships and businesses than perhaps any other thing. It’s something that can flare up in a moment or simmer and stew over a lifetime. It’s a monster you must learn to control, or it will control you.
God gave us clear guidance about dealing with destructive anger. He taught us how to manage our madness:
You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.” But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, “Raca,” is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, “You fool!” will be in danger of the fire of hell. — Matthew 5:21, 22 (NIV)
In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. — Ephesians 4:26, 27 (NIV)
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. — James 1:19-21 (NIV)
Here are some things to remember about uncontrolled or poorly managed anger:
- It kills — emotionally, relationally and physically.
- It attracts God’s judgment.
- It reflects the atmosphere and spirit of hell.
- It opens you up to the influences of hell.
- It leads to all kinds of sin — resentment, bitterness, gossip, slander, immorality, jealousy, and lots of other ugly things.
- You are personally responsible for the way you handle it.
- With God’s help, you can manage it the right way.
Here are some ways to manage your madness:
- Take responsibility for your anger.
- Let God into the ugly, angry parts of your heart.
- Forgive people you need to forgive.
- Accept situations you need to accept.
- Take charge of your mind and mouth when you feel rage rising in your soul.
- Remember the damage it can do and the repairs it will require.
Manage your madness the right way, before it makes a mess of you!