Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Slaying My Anger

I was angry this morning.  I won't go into what the situation might be (other than to say it most expressly does not have anything to do with Michael, naturally), but I will say that I was on the brink of tears.  That's my typical response when I shoot past irritated, cruise beyond frustrated, & arrive at destination:  angry, angry, angry.  It doesn't help that it's completely beyond my control either - the situation, that is.  What do you do when you feel that choler burning & boiling up from the pit of your stomach, threatening to erupt in a scream?  I pondered calling Beth to vent or Sweet T to beg for wisdom & advice.  I considered waking Michael up so I could pour out my anguish & receive his sympathy.  Instead, I cried out to God to "help me, please help me, because I don't want to feel this way or respond in this manner."  He brought to mind John Piper's "How to Kill Sin" sermon series, which I have lately been listening to once again.  My thoughts ran thus:

     ~Anger is the sin that I'm presently battling, & I want to kill it.
     ~How do you kill sin?  By the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
     ~That means I need to delve into my Bible to see what it has to say about anger.

Here's what I found, & it was very helpful.  As the situation & feelings of anger have continued to spring to the surface throughout this day, I have been fleeing back to God's Word for the renewal of my mind & spirit.  I pray it is the same balm to you.

*Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.  A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy (often the cause of anger) makes the bones rot.  ~Proverbs 14:29-30 (notation mine)

*A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.  ~Proverbs 15:18

*Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, & he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.  ~Proverbs 16:32

*Good sense makes one slow to anger, & it is his glory to overlook an offense.  ~Proverbs 19:11

*Know this, my beloved brothers:  let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, & slow to anger, for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.  ~James 1:19-20

*A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.  ~Proverbs 15:1, 4 (I found this appropriate because I'm likely to have a "harsh" or "perverse" tongue when I feel angry.)

*But now you must put them all away:  anger, wrath, malice, slander, & obscene talk from your mouth.  Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy & beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, & patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  ~Colossians 3:8, 12-13

May the word of Christ dwell in us richly & the peace of Christ rule in our hearts.  Amen.