Another area God has faithfully shown me to a deeper level is in anger. We all have anger and although it is not wrong to have anger, the way we handle that anger could become sin.
While taking me to this deeper level, God has shown me 3 different levels of growth or obedience in handling anger.
The first, do not murder. The reason murder shows up when speaking about anger is because murder is a result of uncontrolled anger. This is the most basic form of obedience in which all people are expected to obey.
The second, watch your mouth. When Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, He shows an even deeper level of obedience for those who would follow Him, saying not only do not murder but don’t even be angry with someone to speak against them.
In Matthew 5:21-22 Jesus says “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘you shall not commit murder’ and told ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty with the court; and whoever shall say to his brother ‘Raca’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say ‘You fool’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery Hell.”
Not only are we to control our emotions so we do not kill someone, we are also to control our emotions not to kill someone with our words. To say “Raca or fool” is to slander that person’s reputation or character, which could kill a person if what you said causes that person to lose their livelihood. Jesus said that was as bad as actual murder.
The third, do not be angry at all. He showed me not only do not murder, or talk about someone but not to be angry at all, letting the peace of God rule in my heart and mind.
I asked, “How am I to do that when I cannot control when I feel anger?” Then He reminded me to feel anger is not sin, it is your emotional reaction to that anger.
Jesus did not act out of anger. Every decision He made or action He took, was completely in control, under the authority of the word of God. He always said, “Is it not written?” He could do this because He trusted God!
Trust is what I need to do to keep my anger in check. When I feel that anger boil up, I have to trust. Trust that He knows what is going on, trust that He has it all under control, and trust it will all work out for good.
Isaiah 26:3-4 “The steadfast mind Thou will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee. Trust in the Lord forever. For in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.”
Father, help us to recognize anger boil up in us before we explode, and to trust you that you have even the things that upset me under control. In the name of Jesus, amen