"My dear brothers, take note of this: Every one should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires."-James 1:19-20 (NIV)
Anger can be cruel. One day, I was walking on the park, and a woman-- I assumed to be the mother--was cursing like mad the two or three children who were with her. Each of the kids was under ten years old. Though I assumed they were the woman's children, on the other hand, I could not believe a mother could curse her little children that way. As I walked past them I tried not to be fazed by the language I heard. I couldn't help but wonder, however, what had made the woman so mad, how often did she abuse those little ones that way, and what would be the long-term effect on them.
We differ in terms of what causes us to lose it. For some of us it might be something as simple as the traffic we have to endure everyday while commuting to and from work, or the fact that the air conditioning system does not keep the room at the exact temperature we want it to. For others, it might be something very complex as the permanent physical damage suffered at the hands of a careless individual.
Whatever the reason, a life filled with anger is an unhealthy lifestyle that will affect us physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Moreover, if we allow anger to dominate our life, we are liable to do things that we will later regret and that will displease the Lord. It must be anger gone awry that accounts for some of the unthinkable crimes we hear of on the news: a man murdering his wife or his entire family, or someone killing his own relative, for instance.
We must learn to respond to this very powerful emotion in healthy ways. Based on our case, this might seem impossible. But if we trust God He will help us. In the Bible He gives us practical guidance on dealing with anger. The Lord also gives us the Holy Spirit to live inside of us and to help us avoid sinning when we are angry.
Dear Lord, _____________ causes me to live a life of bitterness and anger. Calming the beast that rages in my spirit seems next to impossible. Please help me to have peace in this/these area(s).... Amen.
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