We live in an impatient world! Technology has spoiled us by providing answers, food, communication, needs, and even wants right now. And in the process, people have forgotten (myself included) what it’s like to wait.
I’ve watched, both in my life and in others, how impatience gives way to anger. As a result, many are walking around angry today. Road rage seems to happen frequently. Customers are unhappy with clerks or servers. Parents lose their patience with their children. Christians are bitter at their church and its leadership. Anger is a real issue.
If you are struggling with the sin of anger, I encourage you to seek help from the Scriptures and from a godly leader. If you don’t address that now, it will ruin you and everyone in your life!
But this article isn’t about our personal anger. Rather it’s about how to deal with angry people. I estimate in my personal life that I encounter at least one angry person each day and to my shame, I haven’t always dealt with them biblically.
Hopefully we can apply these simple principles the next time we come across an angry person. Instead of jumping into sin with them, let us:
Remember the Gospel
The greatest thought that can enter your mind immediately when confronted by an angry person is to remember the sacrifice of Christ. Instead of saying what comes to your mind readily, tap the brakes and think about Jesus!
Resist the Flesh
The flesh wants to say something and to say it now – don’t! Stay silent. Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him – this wise advice comes from Solomon in Proverbs 26:4.
Our flesh also wants to fight fire with fire, anger with anger – don’t! James 1:19 commands us to be slow to wrath. How much better would our lives and this world be if we would simply apply that verse?
This doesn’t excuse the sin but sometimes we just need to listen to why they are angry. What can I do about it? Be careful about shifting blame. Committing sin is a personal problem and a choice. You choose to be angry or happy. But learn to listen. James 1:19 also commands us to be swift to hear.
Simply put, don’t deal with angry people through devices. We may receive an angry text or a mean-spirited email. DON’T RESPOND. Instead, meet the offender and deal with it personally. Too often anger is inflamed because of a texting or email war.
Honestly, I’ve been on the receiving end of these principles and I’m so thankful those I’ve offended had God’s wisdom and love. They demonstrated the spirit of Christ by dealing with my anger in a biblical manner. And we should, too! After all, didn’t Jesus say, “Blessed are the peacemakers?”