“She makes me so mad, I can’t stand it!”
“He thinks only of himself, he doesn’t care if he hurts me or not. It’s maddening.”
Did you ever say or think words like these? Well, you are not alone. But what do you gain by being mad, by being so angry you lose control?
The answer: you gain nothing of value but you lose much that is valuable! Often, being angry brings such harm that the damage is difficult, if not impossible to repair.
Of course, you think you have good reasons for being mad. You have been hurt and nothing will stand between you and your right to express anger. If you are miserable, then everyone else should be too. This might work if you ruled your world and God were only a passive spectator.
But God is not a spectator, he does rule your world and he has given you specific commands about how to handle situations when someone makes you mad. In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus says to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Paul says in Romans 12 to return good for evil.
But when we are mad, we might think, “Wait a minute Jesus, you didn’t see what she did to me.” Actually, he did see what was done to you and he still says return good for evil. But if you did that, you couldn’t be mad anymore, and you deserve to be mad.
You might say that, but then you would be like the fool who has no time for God. That is never a good idea! Continuing on in an angry rage defies God and brings harm to others. Teenagers can be mad at unreasonable parents, siblings, and friends. Adults lose it with insensitive spouses, coworkers, and children. Children fly into a rage when they can’t have their way. In all three cases, God is defied and personal desires are worshiped.
But at what cost?
Relationships are damaged, God seems distant, devastating guilt quickly follows and a peaceful heart is nowhere to be found. Instead of being angry and mad, acknowledge that God knows more than you do about relationships. He doesn’t want you to become a doormat. You are not to be someone’s punching bag. Get help by other means than lashing out in mad anger. He wants you to take control of things by loving him more than you do yourself. He wants you to live for his honor and not your own. This how you return good for evil and add to God’s reputation here on earth.
Do the unexpected: love and pray for those who persecute you. Follow the example of your Father. Love those who are unlovely.