Put A Check on Anger; Not A Cork

James 1:19-20

These days, it is easy to get angry at something or someone. It’s not all that hard. You simply need to hop on your favorite social media platform and you’ll get plenty of fuel for your anger. If you’re thinking that it’s the fault of the Internet then I’d have to disagree. It’s a perennial issue and certain social media platforms seem to excel at exacerbating it.

You are not the only one. If you are of follower of Jesus then you might be tempted to think that you are the only one struggling with anger issues. That’s a lie! This morning, I read an old article in the Washington Post and discovered that anger is a real problem and many Christians have distorted view on the matter. They’re not wrong.

When it comes to the topic of anger on my blog site, Inspiration Point, anger related articles were quite popular. I’m not the only one because I have found plenty of other Christian sites who had similar articles. We wouldn’t be writing on the topic if it wasn’t that big of an issue. You are not alone!

Would you like some helpful ideas in dealing with anger? Keep reading!

As a kid, I had my own anger problems. Though I wasn’t physically strong, it didn’t stop my retaliating with my mouth. I really hated it when the usual suspects would continue to yank my chain for their entertainment. When I left for college, my anger seemed to have subsided. Did I have any outbursts of rage? Yeah, I had a couple.

Of course, my anger issue is nothing compared to some of my fellow classmates. Did it disappear when I came to Christ? No, it really was not a serious issue. Here is the problem, though. I was not good at communicating my anger! Therein lies the real problem.

In Ephesians 4:26-27, Paul says we’re not to let our anger blossom into rage. That’s why we need to learn to let our anger go and surrender our anger to Jesus. It’s not wrong to be angry because it’s a normal human emotion. Perhaps you had someone claim that it’s a sin to be angry. How do I know? It’s because I’ve been on the receiving end of that teaching.

Let’s be clear. This idea is a false representation of what’s being said in the above Bible verse. Some time ago, I went to a site called Bible Hub and ran the verse through an online interlinear Bible. Do you know what I discovered on the Bible Hub’s Interlinear translation of that verse? Paul is talking about two different types of anger; not one.

The first one deals with our natural response to danger or a sense of injustice. It’s what propels you and I into action; in spite of our fears or anxiety. The problem lies in what we do with our anger. One thing is certain, it is definitely not a good thing to hold on to. Why? Do you know what the second Greek word for anger is? It’s a word used for rage or passionate anger.

How does one keep from going down the slippery slope of passionate anger? Placing a cork on your anger will not help. For it will only grow and turn into bitterness and rage. It’s not a good thing! It’s also why we need to keep a check on it. For this reason, Paul says in Ephesians 4:30-32:

30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:30-32 NASB

Anger is truly a slippery slope and it’s not hard to imagine how one can slide down into chaos and self-destruction. It’s probably why some people have taken some drastic action to avoid going down the rabbit hole of destructive anger. It doesn’t have to be this way.

I do hope you read the last verse in the above quote. Paul is instructing Christians to take a different path then the one that he warned of. It really does help to walk in forgiveness towards others and not hold on to destructive anger. That’s why I felt a need to include that verse.

It doesn’t stop there. Do you know that the Bible provides another pearl of wisdom that you can on social media; especially when it comes to anger? The following pearl comes from James 1:19-21 and I’ve seen this pearl mentioned in many places on the Internet. It’s an invaluable key in how we talk on certain social media platforms.

19 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.

James 1:19-21

For one to listen fully, he or she needs to let go of the anger and not let it build up inside of you. If you don’t, it will blindside you. Did you notice that we’re not to be quick to get the last word in? It’s why we need to learn to be slow in our desire to talk. It can be done by thinking through with a clear head. It won’t happen if you’re filled with rage.

It’s okay to say you’re angry and why. If you’re hurt then you should say something. Just don’t bottle in your anger. Of course, it does help to talk things out with a neutral friend or family member. Again, anger is not the problem; it is what you do with the anger. It’s why we need to learn how to put a check on our anger or it will control us. Otherwise, it will lead down a nasty slippery slope.

What about the fun loving trolls on certain social media platforms? I have not forgotten these guys. In general, these guys love to provoke anger and stir others into acting like fools. Truly, these guys must be bored or they wouldn’t bother. In this case, James’ advice is of limited help. Instead, here’s another pearl of wisdom.

Do not answer a fool according to his folly,

Or you will also be like him.

Answer a fool as his folly deserves,

That he not be wise in his own eyes.

Proverbs 26:4-5 NASB

In other words, don’t take the bait and learn to walk away. Unless, you want to become a fool. For it is the objective of such trolls. It also helps to not take things in a personal fashion. Rather, it is better to surrender the issue to God, the Father. Let God take care of it in HIS timing.

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