His words were ugly and personal and even though I knew better, I let him get to me.
I’ll call the guy “Dwight” (because he kind of reminds me of “Dwight” on The Office).
Dwight’s face flushed beet red.
His eyes bulged out like an insect’s.
He stomped around my office, yelling and pointing his finger. At me.
I was a rookie, fresh out of college and Dwight was my first angry client. As he left, he called me a _________ (you can fill in the blank).
I was at a loss for words. But after Dwight left, I thought of lots of colorful responses. How dare he unload on me? The nerve.
Come to find out, he’d heard a rumor, jumped to conclusions, and then jumped down my throat.
I felt like I was going to explode. Did I have the tenacity work in sales?
Although this happened years ago, I’ll never forget how angry I felt.
Chances are, something like this has happened to you:
Someone spread a rumor about you.
A neighbor insulted you.
A friend criticized you.
Or an obnoxious client called you an ugly name…
Jesus experienced the same thing. His friends betrayed Him. His brothers mocked Him. Once, His neighbors even tried to push Him off a cliff.
Even though these people frustrated Jesus, He forgave them and moved on.
And here’s the good news: He can help us forgive and move on, too. The Bible says, “Give your burdens to the Lord. He will carry them. He will not permit the godly to slip or fall.” Ps. 55:22
I’ve learned (by experience) that neglected, buried anger doesn’t resolve very well. It has the power to keep on hurting you, over and over.
So when I feel my anger boiling, it helps to spend some time in prayer and in God’s powerful word.
The following are my go-to verses for days when I’m angry.
5 Go-To Verses for Days When You’re Angry:
1. “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Rom. 12:19
After I learned that Dwight hadn’t bothered to check the facts, I began pacing around my office. How dare he? But before I could call and set him straight, he came back and apologized.
When you’re mad, it’s soooo tempting to hit back, or to drive your point home, or to vindicate yourself. (Been there, done that.) While retaliation may feel good, it only makes things worse. Instead, let God fight for you. Seek His face rather than seeking revenge. Trust Him to work on your behalf when you’re mistreated.
2. “Bear with each other and forgive one another . . . Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Col. 3:13
I told my Dwight he was forgiven (because that’s what we’re supposed to do, right?), but honestly, that was a s-t-r-e-t-c-h. I didn’t even try. Instead, I told everyone in the office about it. I made jokes about his bulging eyes. And I held on to my anger for way too long. Maybe you can relate.
Our brains tend to organize people into categories, such as “good” and “bad.” That’s what I did. It’s called judging. But since we’ve all been “bad” people at one time or another, it’s best not to judge. Only the Lord is good, and He chooses to forgive. Let’s choose to forgive, too.
3. “Get rid of all bitterness, passion, and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort.” Eph. 4:31
Holding on to my anger didn’t hurt Dwight, it only hurt me. What could’ve been a brief, awkward incident, turned into a huge, painful mess. It took me a long time to get over it. I rehashed it. I let his words hurt me over and over. And it felt pretty awful.
If you’re feeling angry, don’t let your thoughts run wild, rein them in. Believe me, it’s the least painful option. Ask God to cleanse your heart of anger and bitterness, daily. Keep your mind on God and off the situation. Be patient with people who hurt you—remember, they’re probably hurting, too.
4. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Cor. 4:17
Rehashing how much I’d been wronged, made me lose perspective. I focused on the negative and ignored the positive. I love this bit of wisdom from author Andy Andrews: “Perspective can just as easily be lost, as it can be found.” In other words, you must work to keep conflicts in perspective. I wish I had.
Here’s what I’ve learned: in every bad situation, there are some good things to be grateful for. You just have to look for them. If you’re facing trouble right now, ask God to help you keep it in perspective. The verses in this post can help you. Say them out loud, often. Thank God for them. Meditate on them each day (click here for my guided meditations).
5. “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Is. 41:10
On days when you’re really angry, you may feel isolated, like nobody cares. But this is never true for a child of God. These powerful verses will remind you of the truth that can set you free.
Eventually, I worked past my anger and moved on. But I made it so much harder than it had to be. I continued working in sales and eventually, in spite of other difficulties, I enjoyed some success. (Yep, I looked a bit—okay, a lot—younger way back in 1991)
Chances are, you could be angry at someone or something right now. If so, you may feel pretty discouraged. Maybe you’ve lost perspective of the situation. Possibly you could be struggling to let it go and move on.
I get it.
If you’re angry and hurting, remember this: somehow God can use what’s happened for a good (Rom. 8:28). He can give you the strength to forgive. He can grant you the power to get through this trial and move on. Bring your angry, frustrated feelings to Him. Go to His word and begin healing today.