The older I become, the more I wish I could undo many things in my past, and I’m certain that others feel as I do. However one can never undo what has been done. He can only confess, repent, and attempt to make restitution where possible. But those acts often create in the lives of those affected opportunities to store up anger.
I’ve seen people become unhappy and bitter because they have stored up anger over perceived or actual harm. These people are unwilling to forgive, and that stored up anger begins to eat at their health while destroying relationships and opportunities. They often profess to not being angry, but their stomach is keeping score, and the tenseness they feel when the object of that anger is brought to mind can actually make them physically ill.
Scripture teaches that one should not allow the sun to go down upon his wrath, thereby giving place to the devil. You see, it becomes stored up anger, and each time it resurfaces it becomes more and more cherished, in so much that he finds it progressively more difficult to forgive the offender. When you don’t deal with your sinful anger forthrightly, you allow Satan the opportunity to destroy you, your relationships, and your testimony.
There is righteous anger that one ought have, but righteous anger is not directed toward an individual, rather it is directed toward the sin. Every preacher ought be angry over the sin which deceives and deludes his congregation, and each sermon ought have an element of anger toward that which is robbing Believers of the joy and victory in Christ which is rightly their because of His finished work on the cross.
Believers ought be angry about the sin which enslaves their loved ones and acquaintances. But, dear friends, don’t direct your anger toward the individual. Our churches would be filled with convicted, confessing, and repentant folk continually if we would only learn how to put aside that anger which we so easily justify toward others.
So how does one conquer anger? First, confess to God that you have this stored up anger and claim His loving forgiveness. Second, forgive the offender. If you will not forgive, you cannot be forgiven. Third, attempt to be reconciled to the one with whom you are angry. Reconciliation must not depend upon you.
Living anger free enables one to enjoy the life God has given. Jesus came that we might have abundant and fruitful life. Don’t allow stored up anger to rob you of the full benefits of this life. Don’t allow anger to rob you of an effective testimony for Christ.
From "A Word For Living" by Mike Rasberry
© Mike Rasberry 2013