Keeping Cool When the Heat is On

angerAnger is such an odd emotion isn’t it?  I guess I just wonder why God would grant us an emotion that could be so inherently destructive at times.  I could cite many occasions where a justifiable anger leads to reform or justice, to protect us from danger or stand against oppression.  But I could also mention the many other dangerous traits of anger such as its effects on relationships and its ability to temper our opportunities of influence and love.

  1. Anger Causes Stress- For those experiencing terrible bouts of anger, the stress is undeniable.  Anger leads to heightened levels of anxiety as well as diseases such as heart disease and cancer.  When anger is uncontrolled, it releases higher levels of adrenalin into the bloodstream causing our bodies to be stressed to the breaking point.
  2. Anger is Addictive- As a human emotion, anger can be tempered and useful, but it can also become addictive and habitual.  When we practice angry responses to situations that don’t warrant it, the behavior becomes well-rooted in our conscience and is then easier to do the next time a dangerous situation arises.  Addictions such as uncontrolled anger are extremely hard to get rid of and are easier to justify as we become more addicted to its response.
  3. Anger Prevents Rational Thinking- We’ve all heard of the criminal cases where someone was murdered in a “heat of rage or passion.”  Anger which is sinful is where we lose our ability to think logically in any given situation and we no longer view communication and compromise as viable options.  Anger has a way of shutting down our brains to the reality around us until we create our own reality, a reality of distorted truths and extreme actions.

As we can see, the destructive traits of an angry spirit are far-reaching and difficult to get rid of.  And yet, God asks us to temper this emotion he has given us, controlling it and not succumbing to the temptation to sin.  Ecclesiastes 7:9 reads, “Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.”  Our anger must be brought low by a cooler temperament, one which is aware of others around us and a desire to be a positive influence for God.  James 1:19-20 says, ” 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.”  One of the best ways to do this is to stay in God’s word allowing our hearts to be molded by it (James 1:21). 

We have to examine our egos which tend to get in the way of cooler responses during heated moments.  And finally, share your temptation with anger with God and others.  Be willing to admit that Satan tries to strike you down in this area and pray for God’s strength to be there when you’re faced with the opportunity to sin when angry.  Let’s help one another to live the righteous life God would have us live.

-Joe

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2 thoughts on “Keeping Cool When the Heat is On

  1. ephesians413

    And even more – in Matthew 5, Jesus tells us not to get angry at our brothers and even farther than that – love your enemies. How does one do that? We all struggle with anger pretty much on a daily basis – in traffic, at work, at times when things don’t go our way. Love that guy that just cut you off in traffic. Pray for him. Love the one at work that constantly puts you down. Whatever. We all know what makes us angry. We can do better. Thanks for a thought provoking post.

    1. Joe Butler

      When we read our Bibles and see how far we fall short of the perfection God would have us to live, we realize how badly we need his grace and mercy. You pointed out that Jesus was particular about going that extra step and looking at our hearts and our attitude towards others. When I begin to do that kind of examination, I understand how much better I should be and how much work I should do, not to earn his grace, but to show my gratitude for it.

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