Anger has exploded upon the world  in visible acts of violence.  Hatred, violence, arguing, fighting, clamor, and rioting are erupting everywhere. Yet the people of God are called to be followers of peace, kindness, mercy, and forgiveness.

Anger is the sudden feeling of dislike and often aggressive response because we: 1) don’t get our own way; 2) we are in pain, either physical or emotional; 3) we are jealous.

Children become angry when they don’t get their own way.  That anger is often displayed in bouts of temper tantrums.  Adults, many who are just grown up children emotionally, also have their “temper tantrums” when they do not have their own way.

Physical and emotional hurts often create angry feelings.  Slam your hand in a car door and the pain will certainly cause anger to explode.  Lose a loved one, go through a divorce, suffer a prolonged illness, have a friend break off that relationship, break up with someone your romantically involved with and all of these things create hurt, pain and anger. Often it is the emotional pain that creates the most anger for it takes so long for the pain to ease. However, anger that is directed to God and others  from these types of pain is still sinful anger.

Jealousy arises out of envy for another’s possessions, position in life, relationships, privileges, or personal traits.  Intense jealousy can manifest itself in outbursts of anger.

Anger often is displayed with physical or verbal outbursts.  Punches are thrown, fists are pounded on tables or into walls, door slammed, items thrown, swearing and cursing, yelling, and screaming.  In extreme  cases of rage, weapons are used, and lives are lost.  All forms of sexual, physical, emotional, and verbal abuse are rooted somewhere in anger.

Sometimes our anger is suppressed and there is a period of brooding silence. The brooding silence may be displayed as boredom, a lack of interest, or aloofness. But below the outward calmness, is a river of boiling emotions, that will eventually rise to the surface and explode. If anger is suppressed for long periods and not dealt with properly, it may cause physical sickness and disease.

Anger is like acid.  It eats away all that it touches.  Unresolved anger will eat away at your happiness, your marriage, your children, your family, your friends, and your church family. Below are five steps which will help neutralize your anger.

First, recognize your anger for what it really is – sin. Sin towards God, and/or sin towards another.

Second, confess it to God.  Admit to God that you are angry. He knows anyway.  It won’t surprise Him.

Third,  Ask for forgiveness and the Holy Spirit’s  strength to overcome and replace your anger with grace, mercy, kindness, and forgiveness.  The Lord will reward your humility and confession with forgiveness, strength, and the graces you need.

Fourth,  If you have displayed anger to another person, go to that person and confess your anger and ask for that person’s forgiveness. Don’t let  your confession turn into another confrontation.  Don’t try to justify your previous anger.  Just ask for forgiveness and walk away.

Five, Determine to trust God.  If you are filled with anger, you are not trusting God.  Often our anger is subconsciously directed to God, because we believe He has let us down.  Or we believe He has denied something to us that we really wanted (not getting our own way with our Heavenly Father). If you are secretly angry with God, you can’t trust Him or have faith in Him.  Repent of your anger towards Him, confess it, and trust God to work in your life.  Let Him determine what is best for you.

May the peace of the Lord reign in your heart, mind, and spirit this week. Let your words and actions to others be filled with the graces of God, not anger. — Tom