“Of the four enemies vying for control of our hearts, this one’s the most obvious and perhaps the most dangerous: Anger. . . . But behind all the huffing and puffing, ranting and raving, brewing and stewing is the most basic of human experiences: We just aren’t getting our way.”- Andy Stanley
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”- Ephesians 4:31
In Chapter 13 (“Confronting Anger”) of Enemies of the Heart, Andy Stanley reminds us that an angry person approaches life, love, and relationships with an eye on getting even. And anger’s ‘You owe me’ usually fails to discriminate regarding who you believe needs to pay.
Therefore, Pastor Stanley observes, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the remedy for anger consists of forgiveness. Yet, Andy finds much confusion over exactly what it means to forgive. So, when Andy speaks on the subject, he finds three types of people in the audience:
- Group 1 – people who believe they ought to forgive but have a hard time mustering the courage to do it
- Group 2 – people who feel their act of forgiveness lets the offender off the hook; it just doesn’t seem right
- Group 3 – people claiming to go through the motions of forgiveness, but who still experience old feelings and memories coming back; they wonder if they’ve truly forgiven the offending party
Furthermore, as Ephesians 4:31 states, we’re commanded to get rid of anger. Pastor Stanley notes that the Greek term translated ‘get rid of’ means to remove; to separate yourself from. And, like trying to get rid of the spider web your face just walked into, the implication in this verse is to get it off, and get if off quick.
In conclusion, the apostle Paul covers all the bases in regard to relational wedges. Paul stresses that you must rid yourself of all negative emotions you harbor, regardless of whom you’re harboring it against.
Today’s question: How do you feel anger reveals that we just aren’t getting our way? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The Trojan horse of bitterness”