A righteous life has no room for lingering anger, whether in the form of rage or resentment. Fury that hardens in our hearts becomes a stronghold for Satan.
The fleshly method for “curing” wrath is to either let it out or suppress it. Neither is effective for solving problems or relieving the anger. However, God’s way of dealing with this dangerous emotion dissolves it and sets the believer free. As today’s passage reminds us, we are to “let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from [us], along with all malice” (v. 31).
Whether we are annoyed at ourselves, another person, or God, we have to own that feeling. Pretending that the emotion doesn’t exist or that we’ve somehow risen above anger is useless. If you’re angry, admit it and then identify the source. Knowing who or what ignited the initial fury can prevent people from misdirecting irritation onto the innocent.
Here are some questions to help in identifying a source of anger:
- Why am I angry? At whom am I angry?
- What caused me to feel/act this way?
- Where or when did this feeling start?
- Have I been angry a long time?
Once we know the source of our anger, it’s time to forgive. Fury and unforgiveness often go together, and both will drag us down. God calls us to set them aside and take up love and kindness instead. Forsaking anger means walking in His will with a light step.
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