Turn anger into a positive action

Published 9:34 am Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace … Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil … Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:1-3, 26-27, 32- NRSV.)  

Have you ever felt angry? We all get angry. Some of us get angry at the government, at our family and friends, and at our co-workers and supervisors. Some of us even get angry at ourselves. Just picture an athlete who makes a mistake or is at the wrong side of a bad call. The athlete might punch the Gatorade bottle or cuss someone out. Well, Paul told the church of Ephesus that it was OK to be angry.

Did you know that God gets angry too? Psalm 7:11 (KJV) says God judges the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. While God is slow to anger, God gets angry when people disobey God. I want to give you some advice. Don’t make God angry! Be obedient to God.

Paul cautioned the church of Ephesus: don’t sin while you are angry.  

What did you do when you were angry? Listen, what you do when you are angry, matters. The devil loves to get the best of us when we are angry. Do you know someone who did something wrong when they were angry and upset? One bad decision while you are angry can cost you your life. This is the troubling thing. Anger can cause you to lose your dream, your destiny and your relationships. Don’t let anger ruin your life! Instead, turn anger into a positive action.

Paul tells us how to turn anger into a positive action. Be kind to one another, forgive one another, show love to one another and make every effort to maintain unity and peace. The devil wants anger to divide, isolate and to cause us harm. We can’t allow this to happen. What the devil meant for harm, God will turn it around for our good. So, when you get angry, what will be your positive action? Don’t just get angry and spew out hate and negative words. Use that anger and make a positive action that will build you and your community up. Turn anger into kindness. Turn anger into forgiveness. Turn anger into love. Turn anger into unity. Turn anger into peace. Be the change you want to see. Turn anger into a positive action.  

Happy Black History Month!

Rev. Matthew Shannon is pastor of Beulah AME Church in Farmville. His email address is pastormatthew.shannon@gmail.com.