The key is to identify ways whereby we can be free from the control, habit, and destructiveness of anger.
Someone might make the statement, "Pastor, you just don't understand, I have a right to be angry."
Let me share a testimony about anger and getting freed from it.
I was raised in a small town of 250 people in Virginia. My home life was filled with alcohol, verbal abuse, fighting and constant negative condemnation. When I left home in 1972 for the military my driving force for running away to the military was my anger, hatred, and unforgiving broken relationship towards my dad. Although I ran away from home, I could not run away from my anger, therefore I carried these strong, destructive feelings in the service with me.
Before long I was becoming like my dad in drinking every day and getting into fights weekly. I hated myself and blamed all of my choices and actions on my past home life. It was easy for me to be a victim to the way I was raised then to take personal responsibility for my rebellious hate-filled life.
Then Sept. 4, 1974 I was wonderfully and gloriously saved. I knew I was a child of God, I knew my sins had been forgiven, and I knew that I had a home in eternity with the Father. However, I still had an anger and unforgiveness issue with my dad. Now to move forward eight years to 1982. I had been a believer for eight years and had been Pastoring for five years before realizing that I was attempting to transfer my personal heart issues upon my dad and the way I was raised.
I was married and had my two sons. My wife had never seen me angry but anytime I was placed in a situation were a person under the influence of alcohol was getting loud and obnoxious something rose up from deep within me that made me want to hit the guy. My wife could not see what was going on in my heart and mind but she could tell that I was different when around someone under the influence of alcohol.
In 1982 I had me a serious forgiveness time with the Lord that caused me to put my past in the past. I drove 2,200 miles from California to Virginia to ask my dad to forgive me. Something happened in my heart and in my dad's heart that day. Dad stopped his physical violence towards mom and I had a release of the anger and unforgiveness in my heart. I stopped living as a victim to my past and started living with joy aiming for the goal the heavenly Father had set for me. Now I could capture what I was captured for.