Letting Go of Anger

I’m ticked.

I may have an anger issue. I’m angry a lot and at so many things. With every headline I seem to grow more and more agitated and frustrated. Are you upset that our political system is in such a shamble that voter fraud, at any level, is tolerated? How can states not be able to tally their votes on election night with all the technological prowess of 2021? I’m at my wits end with politicians and political parties being so ruthlessly dishonest, deceitful, and spinning every topic to their own benefit rather than to what their constituents desire. Has all of the social unrest been some dastardly plan? Have citizens and business owners sacrificed for a political agenda? And don’t get me started on the Coronavirus Pandemic. There is so much inconsistent data (do the tests even work?) and nonsensical absurdity prevails by governing officials. I’m about to lose it. I also hate masks! Wearing one makes me angry. Seeing others wear them makes me angrier. Can the CDC or the WHO really be trusted? How did Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend get mixed up in world health anyway?

I found some relief from an astute philosopher’s recent tweet, Snoop Dogg:

“I get it. You hated him 4 years ago and you still hate him now. I’ve seen a lot of hate thrown his way, but this guy is a consistent winner and overachiever. Call it jealousy, call it envy, some people just can’t handle how successful he is and how much money he has, could even be jealous that he’s got a hot foreign model as his wife. That’s what the people who support him love about him. Yes, there have been some scandals, yes there have been some lies, and maybe a few times he’s twisted the truth to make himself look better. He’s out there everyday proving those haters wrong time after time. You may not have wanted him in this role, but he’s there now and there’s nothing you or I can do about it. I know its possibly going to get worse over the next several days, but like him or not, Tom Brady is turning things around in Tampa Bay.”

But seriously, how do we deal with “what a long strange trip it’s been” through 2020 and have some semblance of hope that ’21 is going to be any better? How can I avoid investing thousands in anger management classes? Is Xanax my only hope?

The answer for the future lies in the past. I have received great clarity, profound encouragement, and peace for my weary soul from the ancient Scriptures, the Bible. Now don’t tune me out just yet. Whether you’re a sceptic, atheist, agnostic, barely a believer, or a seasoned saint, listen to how the Apostle Paul coached those he led through similarly tumultuous times.

Of course, he taught them God’s word and ways, but he also conveyed his absolute commitment to their well-being, especially their spiritual and emotional health, through he and his team’s persistent prayers. They interceded for their fellow believers every day and even multiple times during the day, and night. One of his team members was described as “always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” (Colossians 4:12 ESV) What compelled this man to pray so diligently for his people? He knew the power of prayer. He had a rock-solid belief that God would do just as he faithfully asked. But what exactly did Paul and his team members request of God?

He and his team members continually asked God for their friends to be “filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” (Colossians 1:9) That’s it! If we’re asking God to fill us with his knowledge and understanding, we won’t be overcome with the injustices and hatred that fills our world. Worries can be abated. If your mind is filled with God’s perspectives, there’s no longer any room for the world’s ideals. We won’t be burdened with the uncertainties of our economy or with new laws and policies created by political parties. The sheer insanity of the sexual revolution will be brought into the light of his clear understanding. God’s knowledge and understanding keep a person’s perspectives aligned with his values and priorities. Couldn’t you use an alignment job today?

On a very personal level, asking God to fill you with his knowledge and understanding will allow you to see how to help someone navigate the temptations of same sex attractions, adultery, gender dysphoria, and all the other temptations that our society now considers normal behavior.

I’ve been asking God to fill me with his wisdom for years, certainly for major decisions but also for the daily choices, and he has come through every time. This article came directly from this very prayer request. My mind was all over the place about article topics. When I paused and asked him to give me the wisdom I needed to write, it flowed. That’s why Jesus’ half-brother, James, wrote that God will always give us the wisdom we need if we ask him in faith.

But wait, there’s more! Paul’s prayer didn’t end with a request for wisdom and understanding. He also asked that these tired believers would be “strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy.” (v11) That’s exactly what our needy souls require, strengthening. Notice how the apostle worded the request by asking for these dear people to be empowered with all of God’s might. That’s a lot of inner strength. Is there anything you can’t endure if you’re continually being strengthened with the very power of God?

The result of asking God to empower you is threefold. First, you will be able to endure every situation that comes your way. Whether it’s national, local, or in your own home, you’ll be able to weather the storm with the power that God’s provides, even if it is another lock-down or wearing masks to bed. Secondly, you will have all patience. The word “all” modifies both endurance and patience. I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely ready for all of the election results to end so we can just move on, whatever direction that takes. Maybe you need patience with a friend, spouse, or co-worker who has a completely different viewpoint than you. When your patience meter is pegging “E”, ask God to strengthen you with his inexhaustible power.

How do I let go of my anger? I pray. I ask God the Almighty to fill me with his wisdom and understanding and to strengthen me with all of his power. Then I’m no longer angry. I’m actually quite pleasant to be around. May you experience the same.

I would like to conclude with this rich blessing from Romans 15:13 that is be exactly what is called for in these chaotic times. May the God of hope fill you all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bill Simpson is the bestselling author of How to Ask GodTake 10 to MenóWhat Men Crave and his latest book Kingdom Come Leadership. A business professional and a veteran pastor, halving his career between the marketplace and vocational ministry. He’s run his own company, worked for two Fortune 500 firms, pastored two churches, directed an international ministry team in Senegal, West Africa, launched a nonprofit, authored three previous books, and hosted a podcast. He holds a BS in engineering and an MA in theology. Bill and Tammy have been married since 1981 and live in Wilmington, NC. Bill's book  are bestselling.

You may also contact Bill at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.

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