for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:20

When I was in elementary school, we had a wonderful babysitter named Cheryl. She always played with us, brought us treats and was more like family than a babysitter. One day she brought me an adorable kitten she painted. I treasured it not only because she had given it to me, but because I adored anything that had to do with cats or kittens at this age.

Several week later, I got mad at my mom. She probably wanted me to clean my room, do my homework or something that seemed horrible at the time.  I remember sitting on my bed and making the decision to tear all the paint off the kitten to get back at my mom. It felt like a good idea at the time and I reveled in every piece I tore off. But, when my mom entered the room and saw what I had done, all I could do was cry. Although my intention was to hurt my mom, destroying the kitten had only hurt me.

If you, God, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshiped. Psalm 130:3

It was an early lesson, but it made an impact on me. In fact, all the emotions of sadness, remorse and guilt rise to the surface as I retell the story. Anger, bitterness, revenge and destruction are all tied up in one messy package. These emotions can lead to the destruction of a friendship, marriage, job, ministry and ultimately your relationship with Christ.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. Psalm 37:8

God created us. He knows us from the inside out and expects us to experience all of these emotions. The problem occurs when we sin because of these emotions, when we decide to take revenge for ourselves or when we hold on to anger that eats away at our own heart and no one else. If these emotions have taken hold in your heart, I pray God reveals them to you and you are able to hand them over to Him in exchange for forgiving and peaceful heart.

In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Psalm 4:4

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