“Cease from ANGER, and forsake wrath …” Psalm 37:8
True or false? Only red-heads get angry? False! Why is the answer false? Because the dictionary defines anger as a strong annoyance or displeasure. Did you read anything about red-heads there? I did not either.
Why would David implore us to “cease from anger?” Do you think it might have been from his personal experience with anger and what he learned through it? Let us look a little closer at this and see what we can learn.
There are a myriad of things that can cause a person to be angry. One is hunger. Have you heard of someone being hangry? Well, that is a person whose hunger has caused their temper to flare. It is a physical reaction. I am sure that we all have seen a very angry toddler or child who was throwing a fit. A wise mother can discern that the outburst was sparked by hunger. Once she feeds the child, they become as calm as could be.
Just as with depression and anxiety, I strongly believe that anger can have a physical cause, but it can also have a spiritual cause. Sometimes neither one is easy to pinpoint, but it is worth every effort on your part to dig up the true cause of anger in your life. In today’s world, more often than not there is a bi-fold cause. So, if you find one cause, do not stop there because there may be another one hidden just around the corner.
Sometimes anger comes from external circumstances. Circumstances outside of our control. Things that others do or say to us can cause us to be hurt and angry with them. This can be seen in a marriage relationship when a spouse cheats on the other spouse. It can be seen in a child who disrespects his parent (even an adult child). It can even be seen in churches where people get hurt and become angry with others in the church (which ultimately means that they end up angry with God as well). These are just a few circumstances. I am sure that you could add many more to these.
We all at some time in our lives will be hurt. We all at some time will become extremely annoyed or displeased. We all will experience anger. Does it make it right though? Are we justified into hanging onto it and hashing over it again and again and again? Can we just blast it out there on social media so that others can see our hurt and feel our hurt and sympathize with our hurt? I believe that there are more God-honoring ways to deal with our anger. Answers that He wants to show us from His Word. With God is the best place to start. Do not turn from God by turning to others. Do the opposite!
There is a saying that says, “To all good things there comes an end.” Well, to all bad things there needs to come an end as well … especially in the area of anger. There is so much that really needs to be said here, but which this devotional does not allow the space for. But, let me close with this thought … anger in your life and mine CAN be stopped. David made a statement, did he not? He said to “CEASE [stop; halt] from anger.” It was not a question or an option. May I be so bold to say that it was a command? When a fire is fed, it will not go out. Do not keep feeding the fire of anger that is raging inside of you, my friend! Cease instead!