Anger is an extremely powerful emotion. It can destroy lives, tear relationships apart, and ruin a believer’s witness.
The apostle Paul understood the negative potential of resentment, and he offered this advice on how to deal with it: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).
When we’re right in the middle of tense situations, Paul’s recommendations may seem unrealistic and impractical. But unless we apply his advice, we could easily face the devastating consequences of uncontrolled rage. For example, our anger can shut down communication with others. It can also lead to a silent but very damaging type of resentment—the “passive-aggressive” person takes out his bitterness on others in subtle ways. One of the most harmful consequences of uncontrolled anger is depression. Over time, inner turmoil and unresolved conflicts will take their toll on a person’s mental health.
But we have a choice. We can let our anger control us—which means we opt to suffer the consequences. Or we can release this debilitating emotion by forgiving those we feel have stirred our bitterness.
Try to identify causes of anger in your life, and bring them before the Lord. Trust that He will empower you to overcome these sources of strife. Read Ephesians 4:31-3 once more, and let the truth of God’s Word strengthen you.