Saved & Angry

I have yet to figure out why non-believers hold onto the lie that Christians aren’t angry or will never become angry. In my life, I’ve been shocked by others who are shocked that I’m upset. Even if it’s something that would make them just as angry but this post isn’t about them, it’s about us. What happens when we as believers become angry? That depends where we are in our walk with Christ. Some people may not be at the point of conviction yet, while others repent at the thought of revenge, but there is a biblical expectation we should all reach at some point. Most people tend to quote the infamous, angry-related scripture Luke 6:29, “To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic[a] either.” ESV, but what does that really mean? Does this mean we as Christians are subject to being doormats to those who are eager to challenge us??

NO!

The above mentioned verse is always used incorrectly. In most cases, it’s used by believers and non-believers alike to justify enduring insult and abuse simply because we’re Christian. The strength in managing through mistreatment is in having God-like character that should prove to the world at large the validity of your salvation. That’s a hard no for me. While the Bible speaks against revenge and developing a hardened heart like our attackers, it doesn’t necessarily mean we have to endure being mishandled by anyone. It speaks to remaining in a posture of forgiveness, reconciliation while refusing to resort to immature and petty antics.

While we are expected to take the high road just as Jesus did, the Bible also gives us room to be angry but not to be persuaded by it.

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”

-Ephesians 4:26 ESV

Bible Gateway

There were times Jesus himself was angry, the infamous table-flipping story of Jesus destroying a marketplace held inside of a temple for example. {DISCLAIMER this part isn’t biblical, it’s my personal belief} I believe this was an example of a righteous anger, which is an reaction to values, beliefs and morals being desecrated. For example, the exploitation and abuse of people, espcially children. That would cause a righteous anger that would move you to dismantle it. Comparing this to a unrighteous anger. This type has multiple causes, some of which are based on morality and ethics, but our intentions and reactions are influenced by ungodly desires. Anyway, what should we do with our anger, righteous or unrighteous? How do we handle our emotions pulling us to apply our own justice to a situation?

The plan

  1. Remain calm. I know firsthand how difficult this can be, no matter what the offense is, but it’s important. Staying clam helps us to stay grounded in the reality of what’s happening and the weight of our decisions. Proverbs 29:11 says, ” Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring clam in the end.” Now the “end” is relative for some situations. That may be the complete resolve of the matter months or even years later, or the end of the While feelings associated with those involved. There are times where the conflict itself is resolved, but we still have negative feelings toward those involved. Though we can’t control or predict what the other person may do, we can control ourselves. Typically staying calm starves the offender of the reactive attention and drama needed to escalate things further.

2. Watch your mouth. Again, a hard thing to do, espcially if you major in sarcasm with lighting fast comebacks. Most of us know that 95% of the damage done is through our words, said and unsaid. Our words are damaging even while calm. Yelling isn’t the extent of attack, the content is.

So, ensuring our words bring life when we’d rather curse, helps the turnout of things incredibly. It may not make the person apologize, recognize their wrong or calm them down from a frenzy of emotions, but our speech is architecture . It builds a bridge and a refuge even if the other person declines. “Don’t let any foul words come out of your mouth. Only say what is helpful when it is needed for building up the community so that it benefits those who hear what you say.” Ephesians 4:29 Most of us know how to reflect horrible language when it’s thrown at us. We know how to be vicious but we also know that what the bible says rings true: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 ESV. Angry people typically don’t feel comfortable continuing their rampage with someone who is opposing their emotion with calmness and clarity. Responding with intentional, intelligent words that bring peace cultivates a atmosphere where anger suffocates.

3. Be ready for reconciliation. Many relationships remain broken due to this one because even if we complete the first two, we may still feel the need to harbor resentment against the offender. This one here takes a lot of maturity, because we need to kill pride, in order to do this. Even the person who want to reconcile may decide against it because the other person wouldn’t do it earlier in the situation.

Others believe forgiveness means having to endure the pain & people that caused the issue while nurturing lack of trust and fear as result. We must remember that reconciliation and forgiveness is our goal. Be sure to keep peace aa the goal. Reconciliation may never come fully or forgiveness from the party you’ve offended. Yet, we must examine ourselves and reflect on our own level of forgiveness and be open to reconciliation whenever the time comes.

Proverbs 16:32 says, “Better to be patient than a warrior, and better to have self-control than to capture a city.” While we know you can take on the entire city, it’s not necessary. No need to demonstrate your fearless defense mechanisms in order to guard your heart. Restraint seems to work nicely. BTW, I’m not telling you to not be angry. Have your time, be upset, you’re human. The benefit of being a Christian is not having to invent our own solutions to these problems but just to adapt to his. Stay submitted, stay humble and give grace to yourself and others. Don’t let anger get the best of you!

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