Seeing Red

Yesterday morning an SUV ran the stop sign in front of the elementary school and flipped off the crossing-guard. I came home to dirty socks on the family room floor—socks I told the kids at least a dozen times to pick up. After reading the front page of the newspaper, I needed the funny pages. Our dog chewed up the funny pages.

Life throws us many reasons to get angry every day. And we do get angry. Anger is a natural emotion God gave us to fight injustice and wrong. What a relief to know God doesn’t consider anger a sin.

But oh boy, can we sin in our anger! When anger comes from a prideful sense of entitlement or whenever we fail to control this powerful emotion, great harm can come. Psalm 4:4 tells us, “In your anger do not sin.”

So, how do we do that? In all honesty, I’m still working on it myself. I’m a people-pleaser who doesn’t like conflict – so I stuff anger, but then I explode at trivial things. Ick. When that heat rises, I’m trying to teach myself to take a moment and pray.

1) Why am I angry? Is this righteous anger or just selfish annoyance that I didn’t get my way?
2) Is there an issue that needs to be addressed, or do I just need to let it go?
3) If an issue needs to be addressed, how can I do so while showing respect and mercy for the other person?

Then pray for wisdom and strength to do the right thing.

How do you handle anger in your life?

2 Responses to “Seeing Red”

  1. Lisa

    Sarah, I am the same way. I end up exploding over a little thing and then feel so guilty about it.

    In my prayers lately, I have been asking the Lord to help me to be more understanding and patient. It is good to see that even my kids sometimes take a quiet moment to pray to ask the Lord to help them. I am working on doing the same. 🙂

    I read a quote not too long ago that made me laugh. It also made me think– that Jesus was indeed as human as we are in all things but sin and he did get angry. As you said, anger in itself is not a sin. The quote was: “When someone asks you ‘think about what Jesus would do,’ remember that a valid option is to freak out and turn over tables.”–unknown

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post. I know it is something that I definitely am working on. God bless!

  2. Sarah Sundin

    Lisa – I love that quote!!! And I love that God put that story in the Bible. Anger itself isn’t the sin – it’s how we handle it.

    Now to learn how to handle it…:)