Anger, hatred and temper are three intertwined words that have an almost similar meaning, but are of different spiritual spheres. Anger is a negative reaction towards a displeasing act committed by someone towards you or others. The resentment of the unacceptable act builds up to a level of emotional hurt causing a feeling of disdain. Anger is directed towards the repulsive deed. If the perpetrator maintains and continues to act in violation of other people’s frustrations and feelings, then the anger is redirected towards that person, and turns into hatred. Anger is focused on the act and hatred is personal. Hatred then stimulates us to want to harm others in any way. Sometimes we do things with good intentions, not knowing we are hurting others in the process.
sundayword:BY PROSPER TINGINI
Temper is an immediate reaction of our anger. It is a reflex action generated by our mental intolerance to frustration, opposition, hurt and hatred. The annoyance releases an instantaneous reaction which quickly builds up to unleash immediate retaliation. Every one of us has a different temper level which can explode anytime if not put under strict control. Our tempers could be scud-missiles which can maim or decimate others. Everyday there are stories of people wounding or killing others in moments of madness. Fathers and sons, friends and foe, spouses and lovers etc, have severely injured or killed one another in bouts of uncontrollable temper.
Our spirituality is in tandem with the Lord our God, that our emotional behaviour is in some ways similar to His. There are numerous examples in the Bible of instances when the Lord was angered and acted when humanity behaved out of line. He also hated certain things aligned to the devil, Satan. At one time He was gripped by a temper that made Him want to wipe out all living things of his creations. However, with time He realised he needed to change and put some control mechanism in place to remind him to control His temper. At first, He was a feared God, but now we know Him as a loving Father free of temper.
In Genesis 6:5-8 it reads: The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth and it grieved him to his heart (hurt and anger). So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the ground, man and beasts and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I made them” (hatred and temper). But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord (manifestation of love).
The Lord’s temper had gotten the better of Him and He had acted based on His anger. He sent floods that covered the whole of planet Earth, save for Noah and his family and a male and female pair of each species of the living things. However, He quickly realized the gravity of his actions and deeply regretted of what He had done. He then made a statement to himself never again to allow anger, hatred and temper to get the better of Him. In Genesis 8:21-22 he spoke, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease”.
Thereafter, the Lord our God was a changed spiritual being, capable of handling His anger and temper. It overshadowed hatred. He diminished humanity’s fear for Him by making a covenant with mankind, “I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth (Genesis 9:11)”. Thus God made a treaty with man never to let go of his temper and not react in the same manner, a covenant He has kept to this very day. As a lesson we should always try to settle our differences and avoid actions that may harm others if we let loose of our own anger and tempers.
He thus put some mechanism in place to always remind Him to refrain from breaking the covenant. It would be the sign of the rainbow. This would act as His reminder. Genesis 9:13-15 reads; “When I set my bow (rainbow) in the clouds, it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds, I will remember my covenant which is between you and me and every living creature of all flesh; that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the rainbow (bow) appears in the clouds, I will look upon it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth”.
In the same vein we also sometimes can’t control ourselves, living to regret our reactions. In the footsteps of our Heavenly Father, every one of us should put forth some mechanism to assist us to keep our anger and tempers in check. Think of something that you can use as a reminder to keep your emotional feelings in check. The sign of the cross around you can remind you of Jesus Christ and forgiveness. Maybe a Bible close to you somewhere may remind you to keep your anger and temper under control and to remove hatred from your life. A wristband can likewise serve the same purpose. There are also professional people out there who can assist to overcome issues to do with anger, hatred and temper.
Overcoming anger and temper is not accomplished overnight, but through prayer, bible study and reliance upon God’s Holy Spirit. We can also handle anger biblically by returning good for evil. This can be a key to converting our anger into love. People cannot read our minds. Speaking out the truth in love could be a cure. We must not allow what is bothering us to build up until we lose control. Look at the problem and not the person. Focusing on the person breeds hatred.
Anger becomes a sin when it is allowed to boil over without restraint. Admittedly anger is not always sin. There is a type of anger which God approves, biblically referred to as “righteous indignation”. An example is Jesus’ anger over how some of the Jews had defiled worship in God’s temple in Jerusalem (John 2:13-18). It was an anger to bring good and in defence of a holy principle. However, anger can shatter communication and tear relationships apart. It can also ruin the joy and the health of many.
l Prosper Tingini is the Scribe of the Children of God Missionary Assembly — God’s messengers. Contact details: 0771 260 195. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org