“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.”
-Ecclesiastes 7:9

Whenever you feel angry with somebody over something petty, it’s generally because it’s connected to all the other times that people crossed the line with you. You may not be thinking it, but in your heart, it reminds you of the time you were bullied, or belittled, or lied to, or rejected, or were treated unfairly. And, because we don’t always process emotions well, when someone does something a bit hurtful or rude, unresolved feelings from the past comes rushing back.

So often, the object of your anger is not the source of your anger. If you are angry at your printer or washing machine, there’s something else going on in the inside. You know the times the anger you’ve felt towards your spouse, kids, or colleagues has seemed disproportionate, more about what’s going on inside of you than what they actually did to you.

Anger is a normal part of life. If you feel angry, congratulations, you’re a human being. All of us feel it but we have to remember that if we let our anger get out of hand, it’s going to destroy us and hurt those around us. Let’s become the kind of people that deal with our emotions the right way by bringing them to God.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I am aware that unresolved anger from the past can add fuel to the flame of anger experienced today. Help me to separate the two and find ways to control my anger whenever it arises. Amen.

REFLECTION: What is one thing that happened to you in the past that affects the way you react in anger today?

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