October 8, 2011

Process Anger

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- October 8, 2011

“Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.”         1 Samuel 19:10

Process anger, or it will control your attitude and your actions. Anger is a self-fulfilling prophecy of destruction, as it destroys peace and quiet and ravishes relationships. Anger is acidic, for it eats away at your credibility, your health, and eventually your ability to function successfully in life. Anger is an ugly emotion, as it easily embarrasses itself, and humiliates others for sport. It has a way of expressing itself at the most inappropriate times. For example, one outburst of anger can turn a pleasant family drive to church into one full of fear and intimidation.

Work environments build walls of distrust because of seething, and unresolved anger. Relationships never get beyond the surface because of the fear of anger’s rejection. No one wants to be around an angry person. The Bible even says, “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy” (Proverbs 27:4).

Where does anger come from? There are probably a variety of sources. One is the result of not being loved and/or of not loving. When a heart is perpetually unloved, it has a void that is first influenced by—and then filled with—anger. On the contrary, a heart full of love has no room for anger. Love melts anger the way the sun melts a milk chocolate bar at the beach. Cold anger is no match for the warm flames of love.

Love responds with understanding, instead of seeking to argue or defend itself. Love learns to forgive instead of storing up resentment in someone who has been deeply disappointed. Love moves on instead of seething in the stew of what should have happened. Love matures over mistakes made, while anger whines in immaturity.

Furthermore, anger incubates in a hurting heart. A heart raw with emotion is a candidate for anger. Suffering may be hurting your heart and you can’t take it anymore. Your heart is crushed and wrung out by pain. You are extremely vulnerable to the influence of anger, so let the compassion of Christ heal your heart. Invite the Lord to love on you, and process your pain in prayer. Listen intently to the Lord, for He really does care. He loves you right in the middle of your mess. Invite the love of Jesus to do surgery on your soul. After the Almighty has loved on you, let others love on you. Love is salve for your soul, as you need the love and prayers of people to help you process your anger.

Moreover, you may be the brunt of another’s angry outbursts, but do not take their anger personally. See that person as Jesus does, and extend forgiveness. Anger may be the defense mechanism another uses to keep you at bay. But kill him or her with kindness instead. Initiate forgiveness seven times seventy, and pray for this person to be loved by God and by you. Anger is an ugly mask, so unveil it with acceptance. Anger is your excuse to love and accept, not to fight and flee.
The Bible says, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control” (Proverbs 29:11).

Taken from the October 10th reading in the 365-day devotional book, Seeking Daily the Heart of God

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