“Wyatt! Don’t slap your little brother!”
My 5-year-old son hit his little brother again. Wyatt is a very passionate kid and sometimes passion gets translated into acting out of anger.
“But MOM! He’s not singing the Darth Vader theme song PROPERLY!”
Anyone who has kids or grew up with siblings will shake their heads and laugh, knowing the “little” things can so easily set us off.
But getting mad is a genuine and profound emotion we all deal with on a daily basis. We know God created us and made every emotion for a purpose, but what about anger?
There are times in the Bible where we see God’s anger, most famously with Jesus overturning the tables in the temple in Matthew 21.
This kind of righteous anger He displayed is actually a good thing. If we can learn to control our anger, it can drive us to fight injustice as Jesus did.
The issue is when anger controls us. In Ephesians 4:26-27, the apostle Paul reminds us that even in our anger, we shouldn’t sin.
“Be angry, and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”
The enemy wants to use the emotion of anger for evil, but we don’t have to let him! Whether it’s our sibling, our kids, our spouse, or the guy in front of us who doesn’t know how to drive in a round-about, people can trigger our anger like nothing else.
Recognizing our weakness in that area and what (or who) can set us off is the first step to keeping anger from controlling us.
One thing I tell my kids, (and I have to tell myself quite a bit) is to slow down and breathe. Anger can take our breath away and make us quick to react in our flesh. Practicing slow, deep breaths while calling out to Jesus can stop anger in its tracks.
It’s important to remember that we can’t do it on our own! With self-control that is given to us by the power of the Holy Spirit, it is possible to have those moments of righteous anger while staying free from its dangerous clutches.
Proverbs 16:32 says, “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” There is great power in someone who can control their anger.
Jesus wants us to be angry about the things He is angry about, but not be in bondage to them. Practice allowing Him to take control and you will be able to tame your anger… even if someone sings the song wrong from your favorite movie!
Watch this interview with Dr. India Logan on Women of Faith Show with Alita Reynolds. Dr. Logan shares her past struggle with anger and how she came to the realization that she did not want anger to overtake her life.