People frustrate us. They hurt us. We are appalled at something they said or did. Some get under our skin more than others. At times we feel that everybody is out to get us. Our anger may get the best of us. It causes us to say and do things we would not normally say and do. It can destroy ourselves and others.
So, what do we do? How does God teach us to deal with others, especially when we get really mad at somebody?
Check your heart.
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32; cf. also Matthew 6:14; Mark 11:25; 2 Corinthians 2:10; Colossians 3:8, 12-13, 19; Titus 3:2-3; James 4:11; 1 Peter 2:1).
Avoid angry words.
“A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).
Don’t let your anger fester overnight.
“’Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27; cf. also Psalms 4:4; 37:8).
Be slow to wrath.
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20; cf. also Proverbs 16:32; 7:9).
Leave vengeance to God.
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:9; cf. also Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 32:35; Proverbs 24:29; Romans 12:17; Hebrews 10:30).
Respond with love.
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44; cf. also Luke 6:27, 35; 23:34; Acts 7:60; Romans 12:14, 20; 1 Corinthians 4:12-14; 1 Peter 2:23; 3:9).
You can be blessed; you can be a blessing to others and you can bring glory to God – even when you really get mad at somebody!
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135