I think Selwyn gives some good advice regarding the control of angry impulses.
He uses verse 7 from Psalm 37, as a guide on what to do when we get angry [I’ve also included verse 8] (NIV): “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it leads only to evil.”
As Selwyn says in today’s study, it’s important to mentally exit from the situation which is causing us to be angry and take the matter to God in prayer. The very action of talking the issue over with God and being still in front of His throne is one which will cool the hottest head down. It’s hard to be angry in front of our loving God. He goes onto write: “Next, wait. This involves reminding ourselves of the text we have already looked at: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord,’ (Romans 12:19). Waiting also prevents us experiencing the repercussions of ill-chosen words we might speak when angry.”
The third point he makes, is this: ” … do not fret. This means not going over the injustice in your mind because, as sue as night follows day, the more you fret and fume the stronger will be your desire to attack.”
If we do continue to fret, it means that we have not turned the matter completely over to God, because if we had – we would be trusting in Him to perfectly deal with the issue; and we would have put the matter behind us.
As is the case with many of these emotions, we can’t fully control them without God’s help – that’s why it is essential that we develop the practice of taking such issues to God, as soon as we realise that these emotions are stirring in our heart.
Consequently, today’s prayer is one we all can say: “Father, You have given me good advice and steps to follow; please enable me to put them into practice the very next time I feel unrighteous anger rising within me. In Christ’s name. I pray.”
[I’ve been on a holiday, and took my laptop away with me so that I could continue to post on this blog. Before I left, I upgraded to the latest version of Internet Explorer – and, something was corrupted in the download, such that I could not maintain a stable Internet connection while travelling – now, back home, and my desktop computer works just fine – I should be able to catch up, over the next few days.]