I find myself being an angry mom far more often than I’d like to admit. Being able to find peace during my day seems like something that can only be achieved if I am by myself, in some pretty outdoor place, listening to some soul soothing music. Like this…
If only we could sit on a dock looking out over a glorious view for the rest of our lives but responsibilities call us back to real life.
I have really been trying to work on my anger, especially when my children frustrate me. I can manage to be kind in almost every other situation but when my kids push the right button so many times, I lose it.I end up thinking to myself, “Man, why is this so difficult? Why can’t I be a peaceful mom?”
And I have heard many times over that ‘We all have those days.’ or ‘It’s okay to get angry, it’s a natural emotion.’ But should we? Should we really give into those feelings that scare or, in turn, make our children or the people around us frustrated as well?
This passage from the bible says, “Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.” (NKJV) Ecclesiastes 7:9. Yikes. I do not want to be a fool.
So is it ever okay to get angry?
Well, I think that depends on what we get angry at and why.
The bible tells us “Be angry, and do not sin” :Do not let the sun go down on your wrath nor give place to the devil.” (NKJV) Ephesians 4:26-27.
Am I getting angry because something is inconvenient and it annoys me? Or is there an injustice taking place and I feel myself getting angry at the injustice? Anger is not the enemy. It should be a catalyst to provoke us to do the right thing.
When Jesus confronted the Pharisees about whether it was lawful to heal on a Sabbath or not, Mark 3:5 says, ‘And when he had looked around at them in anger (emphasis mine), being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.’
Jesus was angry that the Pharisees were more concerned about breaking one of their Sabbath rules then they were about a man’s hand being restored.
“Anger is not the enemy. It should be a catalyst to provoke us to do the right thing.”
So when I find myself wanting to get angry, because anger is a choice, not an uncontrollable emotion, I have to ask myself if I have spent time with the Prince of Peace. I can see now that if I spend time with God before trying situations come up it is much easier for me to choose patience and be peaceful than thinking that I can just wing it or control my anger by myself. Trying on my own strength never turns out well.
But what I think we really need to focus on is this…
Anger is the absence of peace.
When I lash out in anger for selfish reasons, my heart is not in a place of peace. In order to have peace in my heart there are a few things that need to be in place first.
Colossians 3:8 says we have to put off all anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy and filthy language out of our mouths. And do not lie to each other because we have put off the old man or self. We must ask God to remove our old selfish ways from our hearts. Only then can “…the peace of God rule in our hearts.” (Col. 3:15)
We cannot give peace if we don’t have peace.
We need to have God’s peace in our hearts because the world is going to be cruel. Period. Especially if you are following God. That is why we have to let God’s peace rule in our hearts so that we are not mean to each other or to those outside of our home.
Now you may say, you don’t know how my kids/family are or my husband is something else. You haven’t met my boss or my co-workers are a pain to work with. Or “You would not believe some of the people I’ve had to deal with today.”
“We cannot give peace if we don’t have peace.”
If Jesus could lovingly choose Judas Iscariot as one of his disciples, knowing full well that Judas would betray him, I hope that we can rethink the way that we treat those around us.
Jesus came from a place of peace in his heart because he spent time with his Father. He would sometimes pray all through the night! (Luke 6:12) I know it is a struggle getting up earlier than your kids or before work to pray but maybe it’s because we don’t recharge ourselves with God. Jesus came here to save us from our sins but he also came to give us an example of how we should live.
I want to take to heart the verse that says, “You (God) will keep him (us) in perfect peace, (emphasis mine) whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts you.” (NKJV) Isaiah 26:3
“If Jesus could lovingly choose Judas Iscariot as one of his disciples, knowing full well that Judas would give Jesus over to be crucified, I hope that we can rethink the way that we treat those around us.”
I hope that those who know me will keep me accountable when I am not behaving like Christ. It keeps me humble. But I am also determined to make more time for God so that my answers will always be coming from a place of perfect peace. I want my mind to always be on God so that my responses are always on Him as if He were talking and not me.
Want prayer and encouragement? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would love to have you on my prayer list.