Anger

Not all anger is bad, it may sometimes be triggered by a sense of injustice.  Turning a blind eye away from serious offenses is a sign that one is disconnected in his/her relationships.  An example is illustrated in Nehemiah 5: 1- 5.

Now the men and their wives raised a great outcry against their Jewish brothers.  Some were saying, “We and our sons and daughters are numerous; in order for us to eat and stay alive, we must get grain.”

Others were saying, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards and our homes to get grain during the famine.”

Still others were saying, “We have had to borrow money to pay the king’s tax on our fields and vineyards.  Although we are of the same flesh and blood as our countrymen and though our sons are as good as theirs, yet we have to subject our sons and daughters to slavery.  Some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but we are powerless, because our fields and our vineyards belong to others.”

Nehemiah was angry because the people had forgotten the Mosaic Law.  They knowingly ignored and disobeyed God’s word.  The Bible has advice on dealing with anger.

  • My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1: 19).
  • “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4: 26-27).

Indeed, Nehemiah was very angry, but he gave it thought before he spoke to the men with money; the ones who were charging interest from those who had neither food, money, nor property.  They were responsible for the oppression of the labourers.  Although this was difficult conversation, Nehemiah confronted them with the facts of their violation.

Therefore, the problem is not anger – it is the sinful way one tends to respond to it.  Expressing anger in selfish and hurtful ways is always sin.  Cool off before expressing any negative emotions.  Not controlling our anger is a weakness, and we are strong when we release it correctly.

Furthermore, concealed anger eventually poisons relationships, whereas buried anger can drown a person into depression and bitterness.  We shouldn’t hold on to our anger which erodes trust and commitment and builds walls of resentment between relationships.  The longer it lingers, the harder it is to resolve an issue.  Forgiveness brings healing and grace effects change.  Forgiveness is a difficult thing to do, but it is the beautiful thing to do.  It takes courage to do it and it can be done.  It is possible because God has shown us how to do it.

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