Anger as a Gift

Anger as a Gift

I was recently under a lot of stress in my work life.  I found that this brought out a short temper in me both at work and in my personal life.  Each morning I would leave my prayer time convinced that today I’d control my temper and react in love to every situation.  Time and again, my temper would get the better of me and I would end up feeling like a failure.

One day I saw a mental image of myself that communicated an idea to me. In this image I held an ugly, slimy, brownish lump that was wrapped up in a bow.  I laid this nasty thing at the feet of Jesus, as if I was giving him a gift.  To me this meant that my struggle against that ugly emotion is a way of showing Jesus that He is my Lord, even when I am not getting it right.

In my studies of the word I came to believe that there is a way to overcome emotions like anger.  We must fill our hearts so full of thankfulness to God and love for God that it crowds out any other emotion.  There is no room for anger in a heart that is full of love.

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
– Ephesians 4: 31-32 (NKJV)

As I cultivate a grateful heart, the first thing I’m thankful for is that God is patient with me.  Like any good parent, He appreciates my gift of a lump of anger, even when it isn’t what He truly wants.  I am also thankful that He will help me as I go on this journey toward a grateful, loving heart.   We serve a good God!