Raise your hand if you’ve been angry in the past week. Angry at him – angry at her – angry over a situation or circumstance. Oh I’m pretty sure the majority of us have felt some anger. Just a few minutes on social media shows me a whole lot of angry people over some current issues.

So, what about all this anger? What do we do with these emotions when they come? Is it okay to be angry?

Let me tell you something, ANGER is a choice. No one can MAKE you be angry. Perhaps you’ve said it in the heat of the moment – “You make me SOOOOO ANGRY.” Nope. No he doesn’t. No one and no thing has that control over you. It’s your choice. Have you been choosing it a lot lately? You may not have control over circumstances, but how you respond is always your personal choice. And guess what my sweet sister – it’s part of the BIG Life Mindset – 100% responsibility for your life. You have the ABILITY to RESPOND. And it is your response that defines you. Your response to life creates your experience in life. If you don’t like what you’re experiencing, perhaps ask God to help you change how you’re responding.

I always love to put things into perspective with this truth. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it. Sure he may have pushed your buttons. She may have really taken it too far. But that’s only 10%. 90% is in how YOU respond. Will you take RESPONSIBILITY for how you respond? God gave you that ability.

Anger comes to everyone. If you are alive, you will get angry. No doubt about it. It is okay to get angry, but but but … anger is like fire. It has a huge potential for great damage if not kept under control. Years and years of work and elaborate planning, 30 years worth of monthly payments and investment, a lifetime of gathering and collecting, can all be swept away in FIRE. And this is the image of our anger. Every relationship and every opportunity you’ve ever been given can be ruined in the raging fire of anger.

But just like fire has it’s place, so does anger.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 – Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.

The scripture here is not saying you should NEVER be angry, just don’t get angry so quick. Anger can’t be your default emotion. Girl, you gotta have some self-control!

Psalms 103:8 says “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, SLOW TO ANGER and plenteous in mercy.”

We should be compassionate and gracious. What does that look like today? That means be nice darn it. Just be nice. And it starts at home. Can you be nice to the people you live with? We’re so quick to jump to the random acts of kindness to complete strangers, which is a beautiful thing, but what about acts of kindness to the people you love most? Will you be understanding and considerate of them today? Will you be gentle and thoughtful with your family? God is compassionate and gracious with us with all our faults and mistakes and he’s asking us to imitate him.

God is slow to anger. This means God isn’t going to get mad at you over every little thing you do. And we should follow suit here. You can’t get mad over every little thing. Think about it … are you picking fights? Are you being easily offended? Are you sitting at the table with the eyes of a hawk pointing out every single thing they do wrong? Are you blowing up? Are you stomping your feet? Have you slammed a door lately? Have you done your fair share of name calling?

Well that’s not how God treats us, and that’s not how we should be treating others … especially the people we live with!

Slow to anger. Slow. Slow. Slow. Slow it down girl. Don’t jump to conclusions. Don’t take it personally. Don’t read between the lines.

God is plenteous in mercy. He has the power and the right to punish us, but instead he chooses to be forgiving … and he’s asked you to do the same. Will you be forgiving? Will you show mercy to those who deserve your anger? Forgiveness is a powerful thing. It’s much easier to offer shame and guilt, but that’s not what God does to us. Let us stop peddling shame and guilt in our homes like a drug dealer on the corner. Let us instead speak these words, “I forgive you … let’s move on now.”

“Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.”

Anger lodges in the heart of fools. We all feel anger at times. It doesn’t mean we have to let anger flow from our mouths. And it doesn’t mean we have to stay angry. When we let that anger get down inside of us, that’s when we become foolish.

Has anger taken root in you? Has anger set up shop in you and now you wake up angry? Any little thing sets you off and people around you are walking on pins and needles? If I were to ask your family if you’ve been acting angry lately, what would they tell me? Think about that for a moment. What would their honest answer be?

Here’s the thing about that anger that’s taken root, it will seduce you to take actions that are beneath your best self. You actions will not be in alignment with who God created you to be.

You’ll be saying stuff you shouldn’t say and looking at people all wrong. That anger will act like a cancer cell within you, multiplying and causing utter destruction.

Anger was designed to be a visitor, never a resident, in the human heart.

Ephesians 4:26 gives us the most valuable advice – “Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” This means, DON’T GO TO BED ANGRY. Do what you gotta do, talk it out, come up with a plan of resolution, practice forgiveness, or release it to God BEFORE YOU GO TO SLEEP TONIGHT.

And here’s why – while you sleep, the enemy will take that anger in you and multiply it. It will spread and grow. Your relationships can’t afford this. You’ll be waking up angry, wearing your angry eyebrows, acting out of alignment with your true self. NO MORE GOING TO BED ANGRY.

Be slow to anger, and don’t let it stay in you. Choose compassion. Choose kindness. Choose mercy and forgiveness. This is how you get back in alignment with who you were created to be. These choices lead to your best self and your best life.