Monday, April 11, 2016

Anger: 12 Things You Should Know Part 3 - Martin Wiles

Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back. Proverbs 29:11 NLT

I invited him into my office. My betrayer. 

Her confession came in the quietness of our bedroom. “I’ve betrayed you.” Only once she said—but it had been more. Shock was my first emotion. How could she. I was a well-known figure in our small town. Now everyone would know my wife had been unfaithful. The church would call for my resignation, my profession would be scarred, and our family would have to move. 

As I pondered the future, another emotion bubbled: anger. What would I tell the kids? How would I break the news to our parents? What would I say to the person she confessed unfaithfulness with? He was a good friend and church member. After a cooling down period, I chose to forgive him. Uncontrolled anger could have steered me in a different direction. 

Anger can be a confusing emotion that propels me in different directions—some unhealthy. Knowing some facts helps deal with it in a healthy way. 

Fact 7: Anger affects relationships with God and others. My relationship with a good friend was destroyed. Though I forgave, I couldn’t continue our friendship. We moved on, and so did he. Anger often leads to sinful actions. When I regard sin in my heart, it affects my relationship with God. When I’m boiling over with anger, I can’t hear Him clearly. I’ll miss opportunities He sends my way. 

Fact 8: Anger drives others away. I’ve known a few people in my lifetime who were just angry continuously. One was a man I worked with after high school. Life had delivered some disappointing blows. Back surgery at an early age left him walking with a cane and unable to lift heavy items. Low paying jobs, financial struggles, and borrowing from one source to pay another were his norm. Though I remained his friend, many others avoided him because of his bitter spirit. 

Fact 9: Anger leads to unwise decisions. The most unwise decision I could have made would have been bodily harm to my wife and her conspirator. Had I let anger seethe in my gut, many other unwise decisions would have followed. Understanding God’s forgiveness of my offenses led me to forgive and helped me avoid dangerous decisions. 

When situations arise that anger you, ask God for wisdom to process the anger in healthy ways. 

Prayer: Father, enable us to handle our anger in ways that demonstrate Your love and forgiveness.

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