By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”
– Chinese Proverb
Have you ever encountered someone who lived their life in anger? Every conversation upset them, every situation made them mad, every person was viewed as inept. Have you ever met someone that seemed to have a continual surge of steam coming out their ears? Every time I meet someone like this, pity feels my heart. I can’t imagine the burden of anger they must carry day in and day out.
Anger is a funny thing. In the moment, our snappy response or sarcastic remark always seems like the best possible reaction. In fact, after we fly off the handle, most of the time we feel better for it.
But I think that any normal person over time, after lashing out, begins to feel guilt chipping away at their heart. We replay the situation over and over. We think, maybe that wasn’t the best way to respond. I shouldn’t have said that. Should I apologize? I think every time someone speaks out in anger, remorse is soon to follow.
James 1:20 is pretty clear on why we feel that way:
“Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.”
I love how James specifies the type of anger he is referring to: human anger. I believe that we can be filled with a Godly anger. An anger for the injustice of others, at the attempts of the enemy, at the brokenness in our communities. But whereas human anger breeds guilt and hurt, divine anger breeds passion and good works.
It’s human anger that gets us in trouble and it’s a slippery slope. Many times, whenever we lash out at someone, it is a culmination of a lot of things. The issue we are getting angry about may have just been the icing on the cake of bitterness that has been baking in our lives for weeks on end.
I think we must remember this the next time someone snarls at us. There’s a history behind those harsh words. There’s pain behind their sarcasm. There’s hurt behind their rising voice.
Even those people who live their whole lives angry. There’s a reason behind it. They’ve been through difficult situations and encountered hurtful circumstances and the unfortunate result is the seed of anger that’s embedded itself deep inside of their hearts and is being watered by even the most minor issues.
I want to encourage you to evaluate the reasons for your anger. Am I really mad at this person for this thing, or is there more? Is the burden of anger I am carrying a culmination of the circumstances I’ve found myself in? If so, I encourage you to hand that over to God. Allow Him to carry that burden for you.
Pray for that person who lives their entire life in a state of anger. They are bearing a weight that they were never meant to carry. Ask that God would open your eyes to the hurt and the pain behind their sharp words and ask that He help you speak words of truth and life into their situation.
Don’t let anger drag you down. Give it over to God.