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Anger: The Emotion of Power

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath.

Ephesians 4:26

We have all met angry people. Some of them are dangerous people who seem ready to explode at a moments notice. Others seemed fueled with a inner fire and are ready to tackle any situation head first. Others use cutting remarks and words that wound people as they lash out with a verbal vigor. Some are victims who have suffered horribly at the hands of others and have become bitter and rageful. And still others are those who fight for what is right and are angry at wrong, injustice, and evil. What do all these people have in common? Angry people are powerful people.

As we look at Emotions and the Heart this month we again must realize that anger is a God-given emotion meant to connect us to God and others. We are made in the image of God. God shows us that He also experiences anger. (Psalm 7:11) Anger is not wrong. The very passage above tells us that we can be angry without sinning. Anger is like gasoline. If you put gasoline on the outside of the car and light a match the car will blow up. But if you put gasoline in the tank, then turn the ignition, you get the power to go where you need to go. The Bible puts it this way, "A fool gives vent to all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back." Proverbs 29:11. Wise people know how to use their anger to fuel good things in their lives.

God means for us to use our anger to give us power and strength. However, when we allow the devil to access to our emotions, we will find ourselves out of step with God. The devil always twists what God has given to us so that we hurt others and ourselves. One of the works of the flesh is an outburst of wrath which does not produce the righteouness of God (Galatians 5:20; James 1:20). This doesn't always mean doing physical violence. Anger can come out in sneaky ways too. Gossip, slander and back biting are the tools of wrathful anger. We must be aware of the wiles of the wicked one.

How do we use our anger rightly? First, we recognize that being angry is not sinful. Anger is not the path to the dark side. Second, we must be slow to get angry. (Proverbs 29:11) and third, we must use our anger toward positive results. We need to use anger to break boundaries and walls that the enemy has put between people and make things right. We need to use anger as the fuel to strive against the traps and tricks of the enemy. We need to use anger to set things right that have been set wrong. Anger is powerful and God wants us to use that power to connect to Him and others.

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