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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Friday, August 28

A fool gives full vent to anger, but the wise quietly holds it back.
—Proverbs 29:11

Anger is a natural part of being human. People will do things that we disapprove of, or they will hurt us in some way. They will abuse us, take advantage of us, or find ways to bring benefit to themselves at our expense. And we will be angry. 

At the moment when anger is triggered inside us, we can’t imagine quietly holding it back. We want to spew out our feelings with the ferocity of water from a fire hydrant.  It seems that if we quietly hold back, we will burst. So we open our mouths and words stained with darkness come pouring out. 

After we have emptied ourselves of our anger, we usually find that we have more problems than we had before. Giving full vent to our anger leaves us unsettled, uneasy, and unresolved. Anger, however, can be a friend to us when we use it to help sort out what we have experienced. It becomes destructive only when it is unleashed without thought or care.  

Instead of letting our anger blast from us in all its fury, we can choose to hold anger with us for awhile, to befriend it, listen to it, understand it, and learn from it. In this way, we become intentional rather than merely intense.

When the issues that caused our anger are presented to God,we have the opportunity to spill out our pain and ask God to temper our anger with peace. Then, when we are ready to speak about what has made us angry,we will find that what has been held within has been in a space of holiness.  We may even find that it imparts holiness to the hearer.

Gracious God, when anger is boiling up in me, help me bring my feelings into your presence where they may be tempered with peace.