Anger. Is it ever pretty when we get angry? When I get angry, I make stupid decisions, say stupid things, and just am flat out ugly. Anger has this way of controlling people. It's like as soon as somebody does something to put me over the edge; the anger consumes my every thought.
Anger in and of itself is not a sin. Even Jesus got angry. The problem is that while anger is not a sin, we are often controlled by anger which leads us to sin. We get angry and we push our little brother down the stairs. We get angry and we swear at our teacher. We get angry and we gossip about how our friend made a terrible decision. The anger isn't the problem; the problem is how we respond to that anger.
In Ephesians 4:26-27 Paul says it this way, "'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." Paul doesn't warn us by saying, "Don't get angry." No, getting angry is normal. It's inevitable. He says, "When you do get angry, don't sin." Paul knows very well that somebody is going to eventually tick you off. And he doesn't have a problem with that. Just when you are ticked off, don't sin. In fact he says to deal with it while you are still angry. If you don't deal with it, you are giving the devil a foothold. If you don't deal with it, you will begin to be controlled by your anger. And that will certainly lead to you doing something stupid.
So what do we do when we are angry? Do we just go into our rooms and beat the crap out of our pillows? Paul continues and offers an alternative:
"He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
You will get angry. And when you do, deal with it quickly. And when you want to do nothing more than get revenge, look to do something differently. Look instead to share with those in need and look to build others up with your words. It may seem counterintuitive, but it may also diffuse the anger that can so easily control you.