How Do You Handle Anger?
by Kim Starr
Recall a time when you got angry. Was it at a driver? at work? at your favorite sports team? at your spouse? at your child? What happened that caused you to feel that way? The fact is, we probably get angry at something, big or small, every single day.
Now close your eyes and think about God. How do you picture Him? What feelings do you have? Most of us would not picture God as being angry. In fact, I would guess we rarely think about God’s emotions at all. Perhaps that is why the verse, “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) stands out to us. Jesus’ weeping showed His humanness and demonstrated that He has emotions just like us.
In today’s passage, God tells us He was angry with the Israelites. He acknowledges that He abandoned them and hid His face from them. God was also angry in the time of Noah when He covered the entire earth with water. God then promised never to do that again and gave us the rainbow as a visible sign of that promise. God reminds the Israelites of that promise and offers them another one: He will never be angry with them again. Instead, he will have compassion and unfailing love for them, and His covenant of peace with remain forever.
If God can acknowledge His anger and make a change, can’t we do the same? The next time you get angry, consider how you can turn that anger around. Can you bestow compassion, love, and peace on the object of your anger? How does doing so make you feel? In some situations, the object of your anger may never know you were angry, but in others, you can have conversations that might improve the relationship. Isn’t it worth taking the chance to see?
As for our relationship with God, isn’t it comforting to know that God has unfailing love for us no matter what? Just like with the Israelites, He will never give up on us, leave us or forsake us. He will keep His promise to love us always. His love is something we can always count on.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for showing us that you get angry just like we do. Help us to follow your example and turn our anger around so that we can have compassion on others. Thank you for always loving us no matter what. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
SPOKEN PRAYER: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His Word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.