Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Anger’s Double Edge by Martin Wiles

Behaving like a raging maniac wasn’t my normal style, but on this particular day I was pushed too far.

Mom and I rented a booth at the local Flea Market, and Mr. “I can put my stuff wherever I want” happened to set up beside us. Being young and full of spunk, I impolitely told him he was infringing on our section and mentioned a few unmentionables to reinforce my disgust. Little did I know he was the husband of a fellow church member, and my dad was her pastor.

Anger is rarely pretty because it’s seldom expressed in the only acceptable way-as anger over sin. Herod demonstrated normal. Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under (Matthew 2:16 NLT). Realizing the wise men had disobeyed his instructions to share the baby Jesus’ location, he retaliated by murdering innocent children.

Age and repeated run-ins with God’s discipline rod have lengthened my short fuse and convinced me nothing good ever comes from wrongly expressed anger. Like all sinful habits, anger must be acknowledged to God before he’ll help. Failing to admit is refusing to recognize there’s a problem.

Once admitted, previous angry episodes can be confessed to God allowing the free flow of forgiveness. If our anger has hurt others, it’s a good time to soothe the hurts we’ve inflicted by asking their forgiveness. After addressing this dangerous emotion, God can re-dress us with kindness, forgiveness, compassion and love. Adorning these traits helps us avoid anger’s double edge. Let God’s love calm your angry spirit.

Prayer: Merciful Lord Jesus, when we’re tempted to let anger make us bleed sinful thoughts or actions, soothe our raging spirits with Your pacifying bandages.


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