“For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (James 1:20).
When David went to meet Goliath, he chose five smooth stones. One of those stones he used to kill the giant, but Goliath had four bothers which David failed to destroy and they plagued and haunted him throughout his adult life. On one occasion, David’s life was threatened, and if it wasn’t for the quick response of Abishai, David would have been killed (2 Samuel 21:16).
Anger is a giant that every person must conquer; and if we fail to deal with it in our youth, it will cause all kinds of devastation throughout our adult life.
Anger is the leading contributor to two of the biggest problems that destroy families – divorce and teenage rebellion. If offenses are not dealt with properly, and forgiveness is not sought or given, then the tension that accompanies those offenses will not go away! That tension is cumulative, and this is the reason why a list of minor offenses over a period of time can produce a build-up of anger which can destroy a relationship.
The first step toward dealing with anger is to acknowledge it and take responsibility for it. One of the biggest reasons we don’t get victory over anger is because we feel we don’t need to. We feel justified in our anger. We feel we have a right to be angry. But anger is sin. Look at what the following verses have to say about anger:
- “Cease from anger and forsake wrath” (Psalm 37:8)
- “A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment…” (Proverbs 19:19)
- “Anger resteth in the bosom of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9)
- “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath…” (Galatians 5:19-20)
- “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger…be put away from you” (Ephesians 4:31)
- “But now ye put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication…” (Colossians 3:8)
- “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (James 1:20)
Our anger is always wrong. Its fruit is always destructive and it will never accomplish the righteous purposes of God.
Do you love your spouse and your children enough to deal with anger in your life? Don’t justify your anger or ignore it. Acknowledge it and take responsibility for it. Ask God for forgiveness and then follow through and ask forgiveness of those you have hurt and damaged with your anger. As we are willing to humble ourselves, God can begin to rebuild those broken relationships.
Morris Hull, Home Life ministries