Posted: March 31, 2014 at 2:37 a.m.
DEAR REV. GRAHAM: I’ve heard that the Bible teaches it’s not right to be angry, but how can you avoid it? When people get under your skin and you get angry, you can’t just bury your anger or kid yourself into thinking it doesn’t matter, can you?
DEAR J.H.F.: You’re partly right. Unfortunately, we often do put a lid on our anger or make ourselves think we aren’t really angry - at least for a time. But hidden anger can eat away at us like a deadly cancer, hurting us emotionally and spiritually - and sometimes exploding into uncontrollable rage.
On the other hand, great harm also comes when we allow anger to overwhelm us. As you go through the pages of this newspaper today, I’m sure you’ll find many illustrations of this tragic truth. Murder, domestic violence, child abuse, terrorism and even full-scale war often have their roots in uncontrolled anger. The Bible rightly says, “An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins” (Proverbs 29:22).
But the Bible points us to another way: the way of Christ. When we follow Christ, we don’t let circumstances upset or overwhelm us, but we turn them over to God and seek His peace and patience. Things that used to make us angry will no longer do so, because we’ll begin seeing them from God’s point of view. I often think of Jesus in this regard. He was falsely accused and unjustly condemned to death, yet he never got angry or lashed out at His accusers. As the Bible says, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).
Commit your life - including your emotions - to Jesus Christ. Then ask Him to help you face life’s situations the way He did - with trust and peace, instead of anger.
Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at billygraham.org
ActiveStyle, Pages 24 on 03/31/2014