"Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil."
— Ephesians 4:26-27
When was the last time you got angry? What happened? How did you respond to it? Anger is a natural response to a situation or even a person who goes against our expectations. It's normal to get aggravated because reality is sometimes not the way you want it to.
The clincher to anger is what you do to respond to it. While anger is a natural feeling or emotion, not all actions that come out of it are permissible. It's been said that emotions are the true magnifying glass to the situation of the heart. A heart surrendered to Christ and in the right standing will react to anger in a way that still glorifies Him. However, a heart that is not will only dishonour God, other people and even yourself.
So how can we respond to anger in a way that is not sinful? Here are three tips to digest and keep in mind in times we get angry.
1. Don't Feed It With Bitterness and Remorse
Anger is a natural response to things, but bitterness and remorse are not. When we act with unforgiveness towards others or towards ourselves, we turn anger into a dangerous weapon that can destroy relationships, reputations and our character.
Ephesians 4:31 says, "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice."
Instead of feeding anger, we can choose to lay it down at the feet of God in surrender and let Him have His way in our difficulty.
2. Keep It Off the Devil's Deception
Anger is common and the devil knows that and even tries to take advantage of such situations. At the peak of emotions, it's hard to distinguish truth from lies. Because the enemy is such a deceiver he uses these opportunities against us by trying to implant lies into our heads.
"You don't need relationships," "God doesn't love you anymore," "You're never going to get out of this situation," and "You don't deserve a second chance" are just some of the lies Satan tries to whisper to us in our anger. Be on guard and know the truth that is in Christ.
3. Don't Make Any Decisions in Anger
The last thing you want to do at the peak of emotions is to make rush decisions. It can sometimes feel so urgent when we're angry, sad or even happy, but it's always wise to allow emotions to subside before we make any further decisions.
When we act in haste, we can be reckless and sometimes fail and miss the mark. To avoid sin and failure, take your time to process things before making decisions and you'll see how the ideas that seemed so good when you were angry weren't as great as you thought.