My sister recently sent me an analogy comparing a coffee cup to a person. The analogy goes like this, “You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere. Why did you spill the coffee?
“Well because someone bumped into me, of course!” Wrong answer. You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.
Whatever is inside the cup, is what will spill out. Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you, which WILL happen, whatever is inside you will come out.
It’s easy to fake it, until you get rattled. So we must ask ourselves… “what’s in my cup?” When life gets tough, what spills over? Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility? Or anger, bitterness, harsh words and reactions?
Today let’s work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation; and kindness, gentleness and love for others” (Author Unknown).
Let’s examine this a bit further. We all as humans put on our best fronts when we are out in public. We have a public self and a private self. In public, we may act like we are so good and without sin or blemish. We want our friends, co-workers, and clients to think the best of us.
But in private, the real “you” comes out. Not only that, when one gets angry, just the right recipe may set someone off to say the most ghastly and hateful things. For instance, when people consume too much alcohol, then their inhibitions are lowered. If they are angered, they may curse and abuse you because they are intoxicated. Unfortunately, this is the real person. They have shown just how dark their heart really is and the hatred they have for whomever they are cursing.
Before my true conversion to Christ, I had anger and hatred inside of me. But it was through Jesus Christ’s love and forgiveness that allowed myself to forgive and move forward. My angry self was cleansed and emptied and replaced with the Holy Spirit, which started to change, transform, and shape my heart into the man that I am today.
So, are you filled with love or do you harbor anger, resentment, and hatred towards another person? I can guarantee you that whatever is harbored inside of you will come out. If you do not know or have not experienced the real and true love of Jesus Christ, please consider surrendering your life to Him. He will forgive you. If you are an existing Christian, but have anger problems, please reach out to a Christian Counselor for help.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:5-6)
If someone offends you or angers you, is it okay to be angry for days?
I do not believe that anger is a sin, but if the emotion of anger leads to an action of assault or even murder, the actions are sin. Remember in the analogy, I mentioned someone who may be intoxicated, and then cursing another brother or sister in Christ out, the alcohol lowered the inhibitions and actually allowed the sinful nature to take control.
The Bible states in Ephesians 4:26-27, “26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.” By festering anger over a period of time, it removes you from communion with God and allows the devil to have a foothold on this part of your life and character.
James 1:20 states, “for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” What this means is that the anger of man is more concerned about man as opposed to God. Anger rooted in sin will produce strife. See 2 Corinthians 12:20, “For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.”
There are consequences to being angry and allowing it to fester for days. See Matthew 5:22, “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” Therefore, to avoid sin, we should forgive quickly. We need to forgive because if we do not, then how can we ask God to forgive us? Forgiveness of a wrong is what God has called us to do. Forgiveness is an act of love.
And speaking of love, take a look at 1 Corinthians 13. “13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Practicing love will overcome anger. How can one state they love God with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their mind as well as state they love their neighbor as their selves, and yet not forgive someone and fester hate in their heart? How can one say they love God and yet curse and abuse their brother and sister in Christ? Don’t blame it on the alcohol. The alcohol just lowered the inhibitions so that the real “YOU” showed up! If you have experienced this type of behavior, seek help from a qualified counselor or clergy. Ask Jesus Christ to forgive you and move forward and sin no more. God will forgive you if your are genuine and really mean it!
Joseph T. Lee, Copyright © December 3, 2018 The Lantern & Shield Times LLC.