“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” Proverbs 29:11
What angers you? Have you ever gotten so irritated or frustrated that you lost your cool? I know I have.
I try to justify my response by saying, “if only they didn’t do _________, then I wouldn’t have gotten upset”. “If only _________ didn’t happen, then I wouldn’t have reacted this way.” But that’s not true!
Scripture teaches us that what you say and how you act comes directly from what is in your heart. You probably have heard the analogy of the wet sponge. When the sponge is squeezed, water will come out. Some will say that the puddle was caused by the squeeze. However, the squeeze only reveals what is already in the sponge.
The same is true of us. Whatever is in our hearts will come out of us when we are “squeezed” (we come across difficult people or a hard situation, etc.). Those people/situations are not the cause of our anger, they merely reveal the sin of what was there to begin with.
Anger usually comes when we don’t get what we want. Would you agree? James would. “What causes fights and quarrels among you? You desire what you don’t get.”
Sometimes what you want isn’t a bad thing. You might like to have a clean room. There is nothing wrong with that! But what happens when your younger brother comes in and destroys it? You might be angry because you no longer have a clean room. Or, in other words, you don’t have what you want!
The problem is not in wanting a clean room, but wanting it more than we want to please Jesus. He calls us to be kind, forgiving, to overlook an offense. However, we tend blow up; we react. But remember our verse above?
Proverbs says a WISE man keeps himself under control. Next time you feel yourself getting angry, ask yourself, “What is it that I want more than I want to please God?”