Growing In Faith
An avalanche is caused by a build-up of loose snow, ice and earth set in motion down a hill or mountainside. Initially, it may be small but, as it gains momentum, it gathers mass to descend with great force, indiscriminately destroying everything in its path.
Anger is a lot like an avalanche. We've all experienced anger in our lives and we know it is a disaster waiting to happen. If we let thoughts such as self-absorption, jealousy, hurt, pride and feelings of injustice build up, they can be set into motion instantly by an angry desire for self-vindication. We become like a pot of hot water boiling to the point of overflowing. When these thoughts are unrestrained, a disastrous chain of events occurs. Anger soon gathers bitterness, irrationality and blame before sliding into hostility. As it builds momentum it forms into resentment and hatred. Before we know it, our anger has turned into a huge avalanche of retaliation and vengeance. Usually hurting innocent and unsuspecting bystanders. Our anger, if not kept in check and restrained can affect our prayer lives, our relationships with others and most importantly, our relationship with God. We can become so blinded by our anger that we can see nothing, but negative around us. Our anger can be suffocating and choke out the life and joy within us.
Handling anger properly is a critical life skill for Christians. Anger can cripple communication between two people and rip apart families and relationships in churches. God’s Word not only teaches how to deal with anger but also how to overcome sinful anger. Every Christian, at some point in their lives, is going to get angry. The Bible does not minimize that reality but also teaches that the Christian is not to sin in anger (Ephesians 4:26). Every time Christians get mad, we need to stop, pray and check ourselves to ensure we are upset at what God hates and not upset over our pride being damaged. God has asked that whenever we feel our temper rising we should immediately hand the problem to Him. He will handle it properly. It may "feel good" in our flesh to act out in our anger but that lasts only for a moment and may take a lifetime to repair. Anything we try to "handle" in our anger only makes our circumstances worse. We should never let our anger get out of control - it is never productive. It is irrational and destroys all relationships in its path - friend, foe or family. It is an uncontrollable avalanche.
Jesus knows about anger, He Himself got angry, but He didn't react to His anger...He kept it in check. We need to use Jesus as our role model for everything and strive to live and react to life as He did. One key to handle anger biblically is to return good for evil Romans 12:21 (NLT) says, "Don't let evil conquer you but conquer evil by doing good." Instead of holding onto anger, pray for the person who angers you. The key is to convert your anger into love for others because of the grace of God. This is one key where we can change our feelings towards another by doing a loving deed. One example of this is praying for those who upset us and asking the Lord to change our hearts first and then to change the person who has hurt us. Initially you may be thinking and asking God, "What?" "Do you know what they did?" Yes. Let me say it again, Yes. God knows, He knows all and sees all, but it's not our job to get angry and seek revenge. Romans 12:19 (NLT) says, "Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, "I will take revenge; I will pay them back", says the Lord."
Anger is a God-given emotion and meant to be expressed righteously, not in unrighteousness. As the Lord by the Holy Spirit addresses your anger, repent and confess it. By recognizing what causes you to get angry, you can grow in grace and prevent future outbursts of unrighteous anger.
The next time you feel that anger is coming, I encourage you to remember the words in James 1:19-20 (NLT), "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God."