Has your anger gone too far?
From 2 Samuel: A 5-Week Devotional
Mark Twain said, “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”
That sounds like anger should be avoided at all costs. But if anger itself is wrong, why would Ephesians 4:26 advise, “In your anger do not sin”?
In response to issues like abuse, injustice, and mistreatment, healthy anger can motivate us to find solutions. The danger, as Twain observed, occurs when we hold on to anger.
Unresolved anger gives way to bitterness. Bitterness poisons our perspective by focusing on the sins of others while forgetting we've fallen short ourselves.
Unresolved anger gives way to bitterness.
2 Samuel 3 chronicles a feud between the houses of Saul and David. Abner, a member of Saul’s family, was working to transfer power to David. Joab was an influential member of David’s family, and Abner had previously killed one of his brothers in self-defense. Understandably, Joab was angry. But he held on to that anger, allowing it to become bitterness.
During the negotiation process, Joab arranged a private meeting with Abner and killed him (2 Samuel 3:26-27). His bitterness caused him to lose sight of God’s promise, drove him to murder, and cursed his family for generations (2 Samuel 3:29).
We can avoid the dangers of unresolved anger by remembering God has forgiven us for our sins. Jesus paid for our sins by dying on the cross, so that through His death and resurrection, we may be forgiven and have a relationship with Him. When we grasp the fact that our debt has been cleared, our appreciation should leave no room for bitterness towards others (Ephesians 4:32).
- Are you currently dealing with unresolved anger?
- Have you thanked God for His forgiveness of your sins?
- If you’re holding on to bitterness, have you asked God for the courage to seek resolution instead of revenge? What is one step you can take today toward forgiveness?