Emotions are a crazy thing and often we struggle to control them; mostly because we feel it isn’t possible. But I recently learnt that this isn’t the case.
I was full of anger on one random evening and I called a friend to discuss things. Soon, anger that had stemmed from work quickly spread to other friends and family. So within about 20 minutes, I had gone from being angry at a colleague to being angry at the world. But I hate being angry- mainly for selfish reasons because anger leads to stress and stress leads to spots- and so after a short ranting session I decided I needed to fix things. Out of the 24 hours in my day, I had already lost an hour to anger, I didn’t want to lose anymore.
The friend I was talking to at the time gave me the best advice I could ask for, she told me to listen to some worship music. I got my favourite playlist on and I started thinking about what God thinks about anger and emotions as a whole. The first scripture that came to mind was Ephesians 4:26:
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (KJV)
Let’s break it down into two parts.
“Be ye angry, and sin not”
I used this version because it’s important to understand that God has no issue with you being angry. Learning to control your emotions or having authority over your anger doesn’t mean pretending that it doesn’t exist. You can’t have authority over what isn’t there. Many people confuse the control of feelings for the elimination of them altogether. We are human, we were made to feel and so feeling angry isn’t something you should feel bad about.
Be is the word I need you to take note of here. It’s a verb. It’s also somewhat imperative. If you don’t take anything else from this, please pay close attention to what I’m about to say. God is not against you expressing emotions! Ecclesiastes 3:4 tells us that there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;”
The problem arises when you give your anger more power than it deserves and you allow it to steer you off the path of righteousness. If in your anger you start bitching, using harsh language and showing anything but love, you’ve fallen into sin. THIS is what we are to avoid!
“let not the sun go down upon your wrath”
We’ve already established that anger is allowed, but it has to be controlled. Until I had dissected this particular scripture, I didn’t think it was possible- but why shouldn’t it be? I’m a strong believer that happiness is a choice and happiness is an emotion just like any other which would mean that anger is also a choice. There is nothing in this world that God hasn’t given us authority over and anger is included in that.
When I was much younger, I interpreted this half of the scripture literally and sometimes I would go to bed in tears because I was scared that God could see that I was wrapped up in my duvet still harbouring anger. Oh, how innocent I once was. Although I see nothing wrong with this literal translation, I also believe that this means not to hold grudges. God doesn’t tell us to do the impossible and He is willing to help us through all things. Therefore, having control over your emotions, or in this particular case, authority over your anger, isn’t a far fetched goal. It is very much doable.
Authority over Anger
It’s much easier said than done to pull in the reigns when anger is brewing. The things that frustrated me as a 7-year-old are much more insignificant than those that affect me 14 years later, but the anger I feel is still the same. Which is a reminder to me that another 14 years down the line, I’ll look back at this and wonder why I paid so much attention to it. But in the meantime, I’m still angry. So what now?
My answer is a combination of things I have discussed in the past: Magnify the Lord!, find your Release and Choose to Smile 🙂. Don’t focus on what won’t bring you peace, forgive as much and as quickly as you can and strive to make yourself happy. The person you feel has wronged you will sleep well tonight, you deserve to sleep even better!
Finally, in the words of the dear friend that helped me snap out of my ranting session, “don’t let em dull your shine baby girl”
How willing are you to take authority over your anger???
Stay in control,