“In your anger, do not sinEphesians 4:26
Recently, I was put in a position that made me angry. For weeks, I let it consume me. I prayed every day and asked God to help me through it because I didn’t like the way I was feeling. Sometimes he would give me peace and let me know it was going to be ok, other times he would tell me to give more to the situation. I didn’t understand, but I obeyed.
How could he ask more of me when I was already so overwhelmed? Because he is God and he knew he could trust me to do what I was told, despite how I was feeling. However, at the time, I thought God had given me a test that I was failing miserably. I was feeling defeated from anxiety and stress. I cried more than I have in years. I showed love and gave when I was told to, but I still prayed and asked God to forgive me for letting it affect me in that way, because I thought I was letting God down.
A few days ago, I was reading a book that a dear friend of mine wrote called, “Overcoming Life’s Challenges”. In it she stated that it isn’t a sin to get angry, it is a sin to act out on that anger. God brought me back to that situation and showed me that I didn’t fail because I got upset. I actually succeeded because I obeyed him, and I didn’t act out on those emotions.
I passed the test.
Anger is a God given emotion, So how do we know when it’s ok and when its not? Even Jesus flipped over tables in the temple, but that display of anger was righteous anger.
Righteous anger is defined as a reactive state due to mistreatment or injustice. It is ok to get mad about sex trafficking or religious persecution and act out against the powers that be, but it is not ok to cuss at someone on the road because they cut you off. Do you see the difference? One scenario is to help those who are hurt and suffering, the other is nothing more than a bad temper.
It is also ok to feel angry as long as we do not act on those emotions. We should let ourselves feel the anger, accept that something made us upset, and keep our mouths shut until we have moved passed it. Our mouths cannot be trusted when we are running hot.
Proverbs 15:18 states, “A person with a bad temper stirs up conflict but a person who is patient calms things down.” It is better to stay quiet than to ruin your testimony!
I look back on that situation with peace in my heart knowing that God is proud of me. Obviously being at peace in all situations no matter what we are going through is the ultimate goal, but until then, I can tell God is proud of my progress.