Slow to Anger
I recall a few years ago getting a call from a friend who said they needed help with their anger; that they simply could not help being angry all the time and that it was becoming obvious that something was brewing under the surface of their heart. The problem was they did not know what it was. The Scripture in James 1:19 had been on his mind for weeks and he felt helpless to live into this word:
My dear brothers and sister, take note of this. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
The scripture burning on his heart, yet His heart was impenetrable.
I find many people- Bible-believing Christians – who feel powerless to change. They read and meditate on Scripture and yet it seems to bounce off of their heart and is left unfulfilled. This is an indication that most likely there is a need for healing. Our hearts can close off unintentionally as a protective measure or due to unhealed issues in our lives. The great news is that Jesus who, while on earth, healed the sick, delivered the oppressed and brought freedom to the captives is still actively doing the same today! Before Jesus left us He said the following:
But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you. (John 16:7).
Jesus said His Spirit would convict the work in regard to sin and righteousness; His Spirit would lead us into truth and that would be by the power of His Holy Spirit people would continue to be set free. In other words, Jesus left us with His help and that includes help with anger.
I remember years ago, being angry with my husband as he left for work one day happy and content and I was left behind in a foreign country with three small children. I was lonely, stressed and trying to adjust to my new normal. One day the anger erupted and he was the beneficiary. I had spent months observing his joy and I was simply sick of it. I wanted to go home. In those days I used a pressure cooker and I remember watching the lid begin to hiss and spin and thinking, ” That is me, Lord. I am that pressure cooker.” Anger unchecked, stuffed down will soon explode.
As we make space for God together, let’s consider ways to release the pressure cooker of anger.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the root of the anger. Do you need to forgive anyone? Yourself?
- Do you have an unresolved issue that needs to be addressed?
- Find a prayer partner and seek God’s heart together.
- Pray for the root to be exposed and healing to transpire.
Anger, according to an article on Medical News Today, is a natural emotion. Anger can come as a reaction to criticism, threat or frustration. It is usually a healthy response. Anger may be a secondary response to feeling sad, lonely or frightened. Paul understood this, yet he encourages us to deal with it quickly. Anger unchecked can grow and be like a pressure cooker and if the valve is not released it can be harmful.
In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. (Ephesians 4:26)
Friends, this is the key. Anger is a natural emotion. God’s Word reminds us however that it must be dealt with. My friend understood that he needed to deal with it and he did and has found freedom. What about you?