Everyone gets angry. We live in an unjust world where slights, cheating, betrayal and deception are the norm. For the Christian, what matters is how we process our anger.
What do we DO with that emotion that compels us to avenge the wrong we just suffered? That boiling rage against injustice that will either destroy us (if we keep it in) or do a lot of damage to those around us (if we spew it out).
Many would answer, “Well, God gets angry.” True, but you’re not holy by nature like He is. In other words, even when you are suffering as a result of someone else’s sin…anger will lead your flesh into “take control” mode every time, and you will sin in response.
Thankfully, we (who are in Christ) have not been left to deal with this on our own! God (your Father) has promised to avenge all wrongs FOR you.
Romans 12:19 (ESV)
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
The only way to “be angry” and not sin…is to believe God will bring evil back upon the head of its perpetrator. And He will do so in temporal degrees now, and in full measure on the Day Jesus returns.
“Ok, great. I believe that, but I am still mad as a wet hen. What am I to do with this burning, acidic emotion in my heart?”
First of all, you must remind yourself WHOSE you are. God has promised that He has set you apart for Himself (Ps. 4:3). He looks down on you and says “you are MINE.” (John 17:10)
Therefore, “whoever touches you…..pokes his finger in the apple of My eye.” (Zech. 2:8)
Second, you must believe that God will give you grace as you release the wrong you have suffered into His hands to believe that He will bring about justice.
Jesus suffered more wrongs, was sinned against more, than all the rest of humanity put together ever will be. Here is the example our King has set:
1 Peter 2:23 (ESV)
When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
The good news is after Jesus CONQUERED sin and death on the cross, God raised Him from the dead and He has now sent His Spirit to take up residence in your heart. He feels the wrongs done against you. Ask Him, and He will impart fresh grace to keep on entrusting yourself to God, the Judge of all the earth.
He will help you believe that God is storing up wrath against all evil; nothing is slipping by His judicial bench.
Only then, by faith in His promises, will you experience freedom from your bitterness and anger. So that you can take some action yourself! Swallow and obey the complete dose of your prescription:
Romans 12:19-21 (ESV)
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Whether you are someone who tends to launch an immediate retort when you get mad, or a passive aggressive type who holds it in the kettle until it boils over… recognize that anger is an open door for you to become an unwilling agent of the devil ( Eph. 4:26)
The moment your recognize anger in your heart…..immediately YIELD it up into the active courtroom of God in prayer… And overcome that evil….by asking God to show you tangible ways to bless “your enemy.” This is how we right the wrongs done to us. This is how we demonstrate that the Light of the world has made His home in our heart.
Or, you could keep doing what you have been doing and watch the destruction unfold. God is opposed to those who try to handle everything themselves (pride) but promises grace upon grace to the humble (who say, you are God, I’ll do it your way- so You shine).