Q: “I feel depressed and angry. How can I get out of this hole?” —Olga
A: Anger like sorrow is a normal human emotion. It’s not necessarily a sin to be angry, and at times, not getting angry is sin.
As God’s children, we are to love what God loves, and to be angry what God is angry with. God gets angry at injustice and sin (Exodus 22:21-24). Our rebellion and disobedience, unfaithfulness and unrepentance angers Him (Deuteronomy 9:7, Psalm 95:10, Isaiah 42:24-25, 54:8-9, 57:15-17, 64:5-9, Romans 1:18, 2:5,8, Ephesians 5:6, Hebrews 3:7-11).
Jesus offered Himself as propitiation for our sins (Romans 3:25-26, 1 John 2:2, 4:10), appeasing God’s anger (John 3:36, Romans 5:9-10, 1 Thessalonians 1:10). Our God is “compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve” (Psalm 103:8-10).
It’s important for you to take a good look at yourself to see why you are so angry. In dealing with our anger, we need to distinguish between godly and ungodly anger. Godly anger is always consistent with loving the individual with whom you are angry. Godly anger is redemptive and seeks to restore the broken relationship with God and with us.
But there’ s a destructive kind of anger that arises out of a deep-seated unforgiveness and bitterness that seeks revenge instead of restoration and reconciliation. It is the kind of anger that says, “You hurt me and now I’m going to make you pay!”
We’re warned not to let our anger take control of us. “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26-27), for this kind of “human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires” (James 1:20).
If it’s of any comfort to you, David, a great man of God, also had to deal with the anger that was within him. And he wrote down what he did to deal with it: Trust, delight and commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm (Psalm 37:3-9).
To learn more on how to deal with your anger, you might want read this booklet: http://discoveryseries.org/discovery-series/when-anger-burns/ —K.T. Sim
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