Some things are for keeps, others are not. Anger is one of the many things that are not for keeps. It is not worth keeping, not only for others’ sake but also for our own sake. Keeping anger, openly or secretly, is disastrous to our mental, emotional, and even physical health. Above all, it affects our spiritual health tremendously.
Because I am reticent, shy, and mild-mannered, many people mistakenly perceive me to be the kind of person who does not know how to get angry. I rarely show or express heightened emotion, whether that’s excitement or rage. I keep myself in check, especially, when expressing my feelings because I am an emotional and sensitive person. When I allow myself to be carried away by anger, I might do or say something that I would surely regret later on. You would rarely see me exploding in anger in front of people. But, yes, I do get intensely angry sometimes.
The topic of anger was one of the most interesting and interactive topics I had with my students. Perhaps, it is because we could easily relate to this feeling. Getting angry is a normal part of our life. We all experience upsetting situations that irk us. And, sometimes, it is just too hard to control. The issue of anger control caught the interest of my senior high school students. When asked, my students admitted that there were times when they feel extremely angry and controlling their anger becomes a hard task. They were honest enough to say that anger is one of the hardest things to control.
The problem with anger is that the more you keep it, the harder you could control it. The more you store it, the harder you can contain it. My students experienced it. I did too, on many occasions. And my meetings with anger taught me that getting angry is fine, but staying angry is not good at all. Anger should not last long. We can get angry for wrongdoing, an injustice, an evil act, or abuse, but we are not to keep it. Staying angry leads to evil.
The Bible teaches us two things about anger. We should remember that when we get angry, we should not let the sun go down on our anger and we should not give the devil the foothold.
“Be angry, and don’t sin.” Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath,– Ephesians 4:26-27 (WEB)
neither give place to the devil.”
Keeping anger and staying angry brings us close to sinning. Often than not, uncontrolled and kept anger causes us to sin. When anger is not controlled, we can say words and do things that could hurt others.
God does not stop us from being angry. This emotion is created by Him and God can use our anger to bring to light the ungodly things of this world. However, God does not want us to sin when we are angry. God wants us to glorify Him even when we are angry. The only way to be able to please God when angry is to snuff out anger the soonest. When we fail to do so, the devil gains a foothold over us.
It is a useful line to remember whenever we are angry, “Be angry, but do not sin!”