It’s kinda vulnerable to admit that you struggle with anger. I did that today. Because it’s been a struggle for me. And I believe that as a community when we share areas of our own weakness we can encourage and exhort others to pursue more Christlikeness together. So I admitted that I’ve struggled with anger this past year.
A friend once told me that anger is a secondary response. When we are offended, betrayed, hurt, or sad that’s the initial feeling and then it goes to anger. It’s been going there pretty quick lately. I’m not proud of that. Here’s what angers gets us, it damages trust. It causes anxiety, it leads to loneliness and it damages self-esteem.
You won’t have to look far in the book of Proverbs to find so many examples of instruction what to do with our anger. But it was the encouragement of Ecclesiastes 7:9 today that gave me a challenge and rebuke:
Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit,
for anger resides in the lap of fools.
I don’t want to be a fool. I certainly don’t want to be an angry fool. Anger isn’t just a momentary second response. I believe that we leave it unchecked, not submitted it to the Spirit, it does reside with us, it becomes easier and easier to respond with anger.
So today my prayer is simple.
Father God, you have given us the perfect example “.. you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” help me to be more like you. Amen.