An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.
Proverbs 29:22 (NIV)
WIth all the conflict going on around us today its obvious that there are many angry people stirring it up. So many are pulled into the behavior of those stirring the pot because their own anger is simmering just below the surface. Its easier for those that are simmering, to boil over when someone gives them inspiration to act on their anger by giving vent to it themselves. Behavior is contagious, be it good or bad.
The problem with anger is that so many times it gives way to irresponsible and dangerous behavior. Although we may feel justified in our anger, many times we act on our anger without consideration for the damage it may cause. The hot tempered commit many sins in their rage.
So many live an angry and hot-tempered life and excuse it as that just who they are and that others will just have to accept it. To live like this is a choice, not a genetic, or environmental influence excuse. Many grow up in an angry environment, sometimes that environment is multi-generational, and yet by choice they do not use it as an excuse to live like those that came before them. They choose to live differently. Anger is God given emotion, not a God given personality trait or right. To live angrily and hot tempered is to focus one’s life on a particular emotion to the detriment of a full and happy life.
The apostle Paul said this to the church in Ephesus; “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,” Ephesians 4:26 (ESV) His statement tells us that we can be angry and not sin, but we have to choose how we deal with anger. When he says don’t let the sun go down on your anger, he is saying that we need to resolve our anger today, not hold on to it and bring it into the next day. He says this because, if we just act in anger without consideration for the outcome we can easily fall into sin. If we follow his advice and deal with our anger today, we won’t be living a life of anger, conflict, and sin.
Anger has its place and purpose, it is not a lifestyle choice. Many believe they act in “righteous” anger, but with some honest self examination they may realize their anger is not as “righteous” as they thought. If more of us would really consider why we join in all these protest and public outrages about every cause that comes along we might realize that we use them as an outlet for our own unresolved anger. Unresolved anger is bad for the soul. Truth be told most of our anger is not “righteous”, but self-righteous. Let’s seek to resolve the anger in our lives through peaceful means rather than giving vent to it. Thinking and praying before speaking and acting will go a long way toward more peace and joy instead, of conflict and sin.
© 2014 leo J. Woodman