I AM ANGRY! I AM MAD! I AM FURIOUS!
READ: Ephesians 4: 26-27
“Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.” Matthew 21:12 (NIV)
At times, we may hear attempts to justify their anger by citing the example of Jesus overturning the moneychangers tables and driving them from the temple. We hear statements that even Jesus could be provoked to anger. However, if one felt it necessary to justify their own rage by citing Scripture, the Psalms provide numerous examples in which anger is not only expressed but God is called upon and even demanded to inflict violent retaliatory acts in response to unfair treatment. (Psalms 10, 28, 35, 59, 69,109,137,140) Although their calls for retaliation seem extreme if we stopped to record our thoughts and feelings when we feel unjustly attacked or wronged, we might be shocked by our own desires for vengeance. We would be surprised at how much in common we have with the Psalmists! However, do we not have Jesus’ command to pray for our enemies? (Matthew 5:44) Our turning to God in prayer during our anger would be a good start. Further, we as Christians are challenged NOT to pay back good for evil. When we attempt to follow this challenge, we realize how much we need God’s help for us to be able to forgive others.
Do the scriptures condemn anger? Nowhere are such feelings forbidden but there are numerous suggestions provided to help us deal with our anger. Often our anger is magnified when we relate it to others. At such times we rekindle our angry feelings again! In fact, the anger often becomes a force in itself looking for an outlet. Each of another, or us, at one time has been a victim of a person having a bad day and used us as their outlet of angry feeling. Perhaps we too have been guilty of a friend while filled with anger caused by someone or something else.
A certain amount of potential conflict is inherent in any relationship, especially those of forced grouping, we may perceive random remarks as a personal attack directed personally at us when in fact, the person is completely unaware of our interpretation of his comments. Wrongs growing out of such situations usually can be overlooked and/or dismissed as unattended. The best strategy is just forget about it and to think of the words of our Lord on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) However, if we harbor the unkind or thoughtless remarks and then share it with others who may add their own feelings of being wronged by the same person, our sense of injustice and anger will multiply. Jesus suggests a more appropriate method to resolve the conflict, approach the offender in a quiet way without an audience. (Matthew 18:15) Most likely the person is quite unaware of your perceived offence. Make him aware of your feelings withholding outward signs of anger. Deal with anger that is souring your relationships with others but remember anger is a normal reaction and many times inevitable; accept it as a Christian and pray first, then speak.