Dealing With Anger -By Babatunde Olugboji
Anger is a universal problem. It is not limited to one age group, culture, race, economic or social status or educational background. It is multi-generational, multicultural, and multi-dimensional. And this week we are starting a series addressing this problem.
Unresolved anger destroys marriages, families, and communities. Many instances of gender-based violence, murder, malice, and other proclivities could be traced to anger. It is often the root of many terrible things. It is a major cause of health problems and lack of productivity in the workplace, and a common denominator among juvenile delinquents.
People have found themselves in death row as a result of anger. How many times have we read in the newspapers or watched on television that somebody took another person’s life in a fit of anger? Anger may start as a harmless feeling and grow into something dangerous that’s uncontrollable.
Note that there is a difference between an emotion or feeling of anger, and a spirit of anger. A feeling is something temporary that you can quickly shake off, like being upset with a friend for missing your birthday. But when it becomes deep seated, when anger starts controlling you, when it consumes you, it becomes a spirit, it is no longer a slip or a stumble. It requires spiritual attention. And with God’s help, we can defeat this powerful giant, deal with it, and walk in God’s peace.
So, is anger a sin? The short answer is no, it is not. It is what you do with it that could make it a sin. Be angry, and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice, (Ephesians 4).
In other words, you are allowed to be angry, so long as it doesn’t get beyond the emotional level (feeling) and it doesn’t get to become a spiritual thing that causes you to sin. You’ve got to know how to let go of your wrath, thus giving no opportunity to the devil.
This scripture suggests that anger can be prevented from degenerating into sin if a strict time limit is placed on it: “do not let the sun set on your anger.” Deal with it, don’t bottle it in. The devil’s work is to accuse and divide the family of God, and to sow discord among brethren. When we harbor anger in our heart, we do the devil’s work for him.
I want you to say this prayer every day of this week: “Thank you, Lord, for the victory that I carry within me through your gift of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit, I ask for direction and conviction as it pertains to the spirit of anger operating in my life.
Reveal to me the people that have been hurt by my anger and my words. Allow me the strength and humility to ask for forgiveness from them.
Lord, I praise You that your mercies are new each and every day. I ask for your guidance as I continue to walk through this challenge.
I declare victory over the spirit of anger in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
Kingdom Dynamics, a weekly column is written by Dr. Babatunde Olugboji, the President, Kingdom House, a non-profit organization in New Jersey, USA.