So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
We all get angry; it is part of the human condition. Even Jesus, in the fullness of His humanity, showed anger when He made a whip of cords and drove the money changers out of the temple. He poured out their coins, overturned their tables and stated firmly, “Take these things away; you shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” (John 2:15-16)
The coronavirus is a test of how we handle our anger. COVID-19 has confined people of different generations inside houses and apartments, kept us from social activities and sports we enjoy, prevented us from going to church and taking Holy Communion and kept us from hugging loved ones and visiting them in hospitals and nursing homes. Jobs have been lost and career and school goals roadblocked. Even going to the grocery store seems hazardous. No wonder tempers are short.
But, like Jesus, we need to let our anger go when it comes. Jesus did not cling to His anger at the money changers or brood over it. He felt it, acted on it and overcame it. Jesus moved on. What God does not want for us is the deeply rooted kind of anger that remains and festers. This is the kind of anger that leads one person to constantly curse, insult, demean and belittle another person. This form of anger is sinful; it hurts the one who is acting angrily and the one who is the object of the anger. This kind of anger creates deep divisions among people. As the Scripture passage above reveals, God always wants reconciliation for His people, not division.
When I feel anger I try to turn it over to God. Sitting quietly, reading Scripture and praying help in that process; it’s a kind of Christian anger management. The one thing I don’t want to do is speak in anger, so I hold my tongue until I can talk rationally and calmly. I trust that God will give me the self-control to overcome my angry feelings and grant me His peace.
God bless you!