Anger is a natural human emotion. Even Jesus probably most probably experienced anger (see John 2:14-15).

But there is no indication that Jesus chewed on his anger, digested it, and let it remain inside of him.

It is difficult to control emotions when they bubble up, but we can choose how to respond to them when they do surface. IF your anger leads to malice, or envy, or prejudgment, or gossip, or not treating the other person in love (even if it is tough love), then watch out! You may be giving the devil an opportunity.

When we put a "d" (for the devil) in front of anger, it spells DANGER!

When anger bubbles up, be careful of what you think or say. Stop. Give it to the Lord. The old adage of counting slowly to ten before reacting has merit.

Anger can become more than a gut reaction. If we brood on what angers us, it can lead to digestive issues and an embittered attitude. Righteous anger can lead to positive results if guided by the Holy Spirit’s fruit of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). But anger that has been stirred by the devil rarely makes a good recipe to swallow. It is flavored with self and seasoned with negativity. Add a dash of hurt and you are in a stew!

We are all human, and we can get angry. But it is what we allow to happen next that makes all the difference.

Lord, guide my emotions. Let me turn to you before I turn on someone else. Let your Holy Spirit guard my tongue, guide my thoughts, and control my actions so that I exemplify your merciful grace toward others, even in difficult situations. Amen.

Throughout This Day: Thank God often for the gift of emotions that help you understand what is going on in your heart and mind. They are often signals that it is time to pray and seek God’s will. Today, whenever troubling emotions rise up, take them to Jesus and invite him to show you why they are there and how he wants you to respond.

Tags: Daily Devotional Ephesians 4
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