I gave in to an unreasonable anger! Proverbs 14:17 He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly! When we give into anger those foolish things can soon lead into hurt and harm to ourselves and to those around us. We are taking a break from our study in the Gospel of John and over the next four weeks or so we will look at ruling over negative emotions! Sadly the headlines are filled with people who allowed their emotions to get the best of them. So today we look at anger.
In Jonah chapter 4 “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. So he prayed to the Lord, and said, “ Lord, was this not what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. Therefore now, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!” Then the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
The Bible does tell us to have a righteous anger over sin and injustice, but here we are talking about negative emotions that can wreak havoc on our lives. In Jonah chapter four the word angry means to blaze up with anger, zeal or jealousy, to burn, to be displeased, hot or incensed. Jonah blazed up with jealousy and anger. He was hot. He was incensed. Jonah was angry! He allowed his negative emotions to get the best of him. Jonah didn’t have a valid reason to be angry. It wasn’t a righteous anger. Jonah gave into an unreasonable anger!
After his ordeal of being in the belly of the whale for three days, he was mad, not because he was in the belly of the whale, which we could understand, but he was mad because God did not bring judgment upon the people of Nineveh! He hated the Ninevites and wanted God’s judgment upon them. He wanted no part of the Ninevites. Yet his preaching produced just the opposite of what he wanted. He wanted judgment, but the people repented and turned to God. His mission was accomplished. It was successful. God poured out His grace upon the heathen. Yet Jonah was angry when he should have been rejoicing. His anger was unreasonable.
Some years ago a young man took a job with the FBI. He was in New York City working for the FBI. Although the pay wasn’t great it was his dream job. But the bills started piling up and soon his dream job was his nightmare. He became overwhelmed with a sense of rage at the FBI. So he flipped and became a traitor. He became a double agent for the Soviet Union. The money was good, and it was his chance to get out of debt and better yet, his chance to get even with the FBI. But eventually he got caught and convicted of his crime. At his sentencing the judge asked him why he did it? His answer, I gave in to an unreasonable anger. I gave into an unreasonable anger!
So how do we deal with anger? First we must know that God is in control, so there is no need for unreasonable anger. Often, anger is just us taking the situation into our own hands allowing the flesh to rule our lives. But we must trust God in every situation for He is working everything for our good. Second the bible says walk in the spirit and we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. We must be filled with the Spirit, ever aware of His presence and His leading. We must spend time with Him daily and pray unceasingly.
Third, we can’t hold things in. We can’t wait to hit the boiling point before we do something. We must resolve the issue before it becomes a problem. We must communicate. We must express our feelings. Be truthful and do it in love. Lastly, when we feel the anger building up we need to take a deep breath and relax. Bite our tongue, and if needed remove ourselves from the situation and resolve the issue when things have cooled down. Don’t give in to an unreasonable anger.