As I had dinner with a friend, she expressed how fed up she was with a particular family member. But she was reluctant to say anything to him about his annoying habit of ignoring or mocking her. When she did try to confront him about the problem, he responded with sarcastic remarks. She exploded in anger at him. Both parties wound up digging in their heels, and the family rift widened.
I can relate, because I handle anger the same way. I also have a hard time confronting people. If a friend or family member says something mean, I usually suppress how I feel until that person or someone else comes along and says or does something else mean. After a while, I explode.
Maybe that’s why the apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:26 said, “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Providing a time limit on unresolved issues keeps anger in check. Instead of stewing over a wrong, which is a breeding ground for bitterness, we can ask God for help to “[speak] the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).
Got a problem with someone? Rather than hold it in, hold it up to God first. He can fight the fire of anger with the power of His forgiveness and love.
Heavenly Father, please guard us from uncontrolled anger. May the words that we speak bring honor to You.
For help in managing anger, go to discoveryseries.org/cb942.
Put out the fire of anger before it blazes out of control.
One reason it is sometimes hard to admit we are angry when someone offends us is that we fear what others might think of us. But acknowledging anger and providing a time limit on resolving issues is essential in keeping harmonious relationships intact. “Speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15) to the one who has offended us is vital, even if it means stepping outside our comfort zone. This scriptural approach to conflict resolution helps to clear the air and restore relationships. Explaining to the offending party what was hurtful and listening to the other person’s perspective lays the groundwork for healthy relationships. When we keep love in the picture, our goal becomes restoration.