There is the well-known saying that life is 10% what happens and 90% how you react to it. If you really think about it, that statement holds true more often than not and often times the reaction that ends up getting us in trouble is anger. Yet, it’s not anger itself that causes the problems but what we do with that anger. After all anger doesn’t always equal sin. As the Bible says, “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,” (Ephesians 4:26).
But as we consider anger, think of a time when you were angry and didn’t handle it well. Maybe you used harsh words, you raised your voice, you slammed a door… After that reaction, how did it make you feel? Did you feel a calm release because you got that off your chest, or did it lead to a feeling of remorse and regret?
There are others that internalize anger. They get upset but they don’t act on it, yet they harbor ill feelings inside. While you may not be hurting others, on the flip side you may be hurting yourself. Anger is complicated because it can be harmful when expressed and yet also harmful when it is not expressed. A recent Everyday Health article noted that anger can increase the risk of stroke, weaken your immune system, put your heart at risk, increase depression and anxiety as well as shorten your life.
What this means is that no matter if you show your anger to the world or internalize it, what we really need to do is get rid of anger. We need to have a spirit that looks for the good and does every effort to allow calm to prevail.
Here are some passages to consider as you go through your week.
Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. Psalms 37:8
Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1