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ANGER-FREE HEART (1)

Date: 
Saturday, May 21, 2022
Bible Meditation: 
Ephesians 4: 25-32

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

Divine Transformation produces an ANGER-FREE HEART: BE ANGRY, and DO NOT SIN”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Eph.4: 6-27). Becoming enraged over the unfairness of the wicked person’s prosperity is sinful. However, we can be momentarily angry and not sin, when we do not allow anger to take root in our heart. The angry heart says, “You owe me”! Anger is born out of not getting what we want or deserve or think we deserve; not getting our way! We feel and believe that the person who wronged us owes us a debt for what they’ve done. A heart filled with anger is a heart looking to be paid back. In most cases, the perceived debt can never be paid. People spend excessive time waiting for debts to be paid that can’t be paid. Meanwhile, the anger remains, intensifies, and spreads, until it seems that everybody owes this victim; nothing pleases them.

Angry people are literally mad at the world! Angry people are hurt people! However, there is hardly any human being that doesn’t struggle with moments of anger – whether when faced with a small annoyance or an overwhelming situation. The real danger with anger is: if it is not addressed and remains in our hearts, it will spill over into our other significant relationships. Rather than lashing out with harsh words and actions, which only leave us with guilt and shame, we can pause, focus, and ponder on Scripture for help.

The Bible offers ample wisdom on dealing with anger and handling anger-related emotions:

“CEASE from ANGER, and forsake wrath; do not fret – it only causes harm” (Psa.37:8). This speaks of the destructive power of anger! New Living Translation says: “STOP BEING ANGRY! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper – it only leads to harm.” David counsels us not to allow anger to get the best of us. Anger, wrath, rage, and wild temper often lead to regrettable destruction and harm. Anger may start; but it must be stopped! Let’s never forget that: It takes two to fight!

“DO NOT HASTEN in your SPIRIT to be ANGRY, for anger rests in the bosom of fools” (Ecc.7:9). This is a warning that highlights the danger of nursing anger in our breast – in the heart – or flying into a fit of rage! It reveals that anger has spiritual roots and is a prominent emblem of foolishness. Such unrighteous anger reveals a lack of self-control, a decidedly weak character and an ungodly attitude. Anger can be displayed in many forms, from silent disdain or the smouldering of a hidden grudge, to an explosion of expletives or the eruption of nonsensical behaviour – but the Bible clearly states that: “Anger is hidden in the HEART of FOOLS”.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Pro.15:1). Communication drives anger’s direction and intensity. We are, by our words, either igniters or quenchers of anger! Provocative and offensive words, which we naturally think of when angrily confronted or defending ourselves due to pride, cause fights to escalate (Pro.17:14; 26:21). We can use calming, gentle words to end contentions, conflicts, fights, grudges, and rage. Gentle speech can calm a wrathful spirit; whereas the use of harsh or defensive words will inflame anger. Unmanaged anger is like fighting fire with fire! It’s better to be like a pillow that takes any blows given to it without hitting back. Yet, the pillow is not hurt! How can there be a fight if one person turns the other cheek (Mt.5: 38-44)?

The Anger-free Heart submits to the Holy Spirit and the Grace of Forgiveness: And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 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, even as God in Christ forgave you” (vv.30-32).

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Prayer: 
Lord, by Your Spirit, nurture in us the ANGER-FREE HEART that calms contentions, conflicts, and wrath with gentle words, in Jesus name.
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