By Joseph W.

What is anger? The Websters New Unabridged Dictionary states that the “original sense of the word” is “the point or smart of a sore or swelling, the inflammation of a sore or wound.” Clearly by ancient standards, anger was an out-of-control, unwanted condition- a painful infection growing on someone’s body. Such an excellent analogy should be carefully considered. People who believe that their anger gives them superiority to others are really hurting other people and themselves.

The Bible has some brilliant insight on this topic. In Prov. 15:1 Solomon says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” Not only is this verse very true, but it is also true in the reverse form. “Wrath turns away a soft answer, but soft words stir up kindness.”

William R. Alger captured the pointlessness of anger when he said, “Men often make up in wrath what they lack in reason.” Anger isn’t an advanced or intelligent state of mind. It’s the expression of discontentment over things that are unfitting in one’s eyes. It’s one of the fundamentals in cross examinations. Angering or even flustering a witness can lead to the discovery of valuable information. Anger takes the true feelings from the shadowy places of the heart, and shouts them from the rooftops.

Could it be that beneath the surface that has merely been scratched so far, lies a profound answer that’s been lost? Why is anger, in certain forms, wrong? When people get angry and act rashly, they’re claiming revenge, which doesn’t belong to humans. They’re placing themselves in God’s position as judge.

Since anger can’t be avoided or defeated, we must learn to control anger. As Charles Caleb Colton said, “We should not let the sun go down on our anger, but neither should we let the sun rise on our confidence. It we don’t control anger, it will become a sore on us. It will grow like an infection and hurt everyone but especially the person who employs anger.

“A man who controls his temper is stronger than he who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32). This verse concludes and reinforces all the examples given so far. An even-tempered man will respond to life’s challenges in ways that an ill tempered man never could. Power is not in anger, but in the ability to subdue it and to use the momentum gained to suppress one’s out-of-control emotions. Let each sunrise and sunset be a reminder of the fragility of our need for a power greater than our anger – the power of love.

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