Handling Our Anger

Imagine that you have spent all day cleaning your house for an important dinner party and you have everything spotless just minutes before your guests are to arrive. Then you hear in the kitchen the sound of tiny feet and see that your three-year-old has tracked mud all over the kitchen tile. You explode. What happens next is anger. It can become, as someone has written, a wild dog that can be tamed for a while but then we can unleash it and no one is immune to its fury.

Few things can tear apart the fabric of a family like anger. It has led many to divorce court, permanent alienation and even incarceration. How many relatives have not spoken to one another for years because of anger? The pain is pervasive throughout our society. We must deal with anger or its ravages will consume us.

There are four ways that we can deal with anger.

First, we can repress it. Denial, however, is a dangerous practice because we do not always know when the kettle will blow. A basketball held under water will suddenly pop to the surface and splash water on everyone around. Repressed anger can have similar results.

Second, we can ignore our anger and pretend it does not exist. Unresolved anger, however, just sits in our hearts and eats away at us and often gives us a cruel, bitter nature.

Third, we can unleash it on whoever happens to be there at the time. Graveyards are filled with the victims of this approach.

Finally, we can learn the message of Scripture on how to resolve anger. "A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards" (Proverbs 29:11). "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath ... Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:26,31,32).

This is the way to deal with anger. Is not life too short to lose a loved one because of anger? We must control anger or it will control us.

Richard Mansel

Published in The Old Paths Archive