Getting Angry — A LifeWords Devotion – Hope 103.2

Getting Angry — A LifeWords Devotion

Controlling our anger doesn’t mean trying to suffocate it under pious prayers and smiling faces. It means expressing it in a wise and constructive way.

By David ReayThursday 5 Sep 2019LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 2 minutes

Matthew 5:21-22

“You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill. (THE MESSAGE)

It is all too easy, and wrong, to tell ourselves and others not to get angry. If Wilberforce and Martin Luther King hadn’t got angry at injustice then injustice would have continued. If we can’t get passionate about what is wrong, then we probably won’t have any passion for what is right.

Jesus warns against murderous anger, the type that leads to terrible actions. His point is that murder doesn’t usually just come out of the blue. It has arisen from festering anger or hatred. If this goes unchecked, we may just find ourselves doing great harm physically as well as verbally. So we don’t pat ourselves on the back for not killing people: we can kill with words and imagine murder through feelings.

Yet this does not forbid any or all anger. Of course we avoid blowing up and allowing our verbal shrapnel to harm others. But we also are to avoid clamming up and burying our anger. This means it curdles inside us and can cause all sorts of physical and psychological harm. We can’t afford the luxury of just getting things off our chest.

Controlling our anger doesn’t mean ignoring it or denying it or trying to suffocate it under pious prayers and smiling faces. It means choosing to express it in a wise and constructive way. As the Bible says elsewhere, be angry yet without sinning.

Blessings
David