Like many mornings, we found ourselves running behind. We hit snooze a bit too many times. There were lunches to be packed and uniforms to be found. The puppy needed to be walked. The pb&j scrapped from the bottom of the jar. In a fight against time, I found myself scurrying around to get everyone buckled into the car and off to school. My son grabbed a pop tart while he dashed out the door. To my dismay, when I turned the ignition key…
Do I need to say more?
I knew a tardy was inevitable. But that’s not what really irked me. My husband drove the car the night before. It is not an unfamiliar situation for him to leave my car on empty. Sometimes I wonder if his actions are intentional because it warps my peaceful world. Laying it bare…this is my hot button.
“I don’t have to attend every argument I’m invited to.” – Unknown
In marriage, anger is a silent (and sometimes a not-so-silent) killer. Anger can come in many shapes and sizes, and slide itself easily under the rug. Maybe we think we have our anger under control and yet, it is smoldering like a steam engine about to roar. Frustration can come pouring in. Tears can pour out with no end. When our hearts are hurting, we tend to react.
We hurt back.
Or put up a wall.
And complain about the nit-picky things.
Since our spouse has hit a sore spot, we feel our anger is warranted. As if we have the right to hold on to a grudge or put up a fight. There is a sense of entitlement to just plain own it. “I’m going to ignore you and give you the cold shoulder.” “You don’t deserve sex tonight so I will roll right on over.” “It’s okay to criticize you in front of my friends.”
“Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).
One of our greatest battles in life will be to “put away anger.” I’m not saying to stuff it and pretrend to be angry no more. I’m suggesting to get rid of anger for good. Now that is really hard to do…so here are a few things for you to chew on.
Contemplate how Jesus was beaten, ridiculed, and suffered while hanging to die on the cross. Yet, he put away anger and chose to forgive.
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
Consider the endless supply of mercy you have been granted.
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:4
Remind yourself of your own sinfulness and need for a Savior.
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)
Reflect on the damaging effects of anger: mentally, spiritually, and physically. Be honest with yourself–anger can really take a toll on you and rob you of joy!
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:7-8)
Tell yourself the Enemy is battling within. He is attempting to gain some territory. Do not let him win!
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
Be humble and confess your sin. Share the battle with an entrusted friend (or better yet, your spouse) and ask them to pray for you to have the power to forgive.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. (James 5:16)
Remember that Jesus is there for you! He will go before the Father and intercede on your behalf. Don’t hold back from asking Him for help.
Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Matthew 7:3
Love can overcome a multitude of wrongs. Love is patient and kind. Love puts the other person’s best interest above her own. When all else fails…choose to love well.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
It is not our place to play judge. Let God do His job and you do yours. Justice will ultimately prevail.
Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you. Proverbs 20:22
Ask God to reveal the lesson for you. Trust that God will work it all out for good.
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 2 Cor. 4:15
With you in this journey,
How do you put away anger? What helps you overcome?