“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:25-27; 29-31 (NIV)
The start of our new series, “Angry Birds: Dealing With People Who Ruffle Your Feathers,” was a time of revelation for many of us. As we head towards the holiday season we’ll all be dealing with many types of “angry birds”; some only have the opportunity to ruffle our feathers once or twice a year; others, every day. Many of us saw some traits in ourselves that we didn’t particularly like when it came to identifying with the angry birds. The Screech Owl who screams and yells; blows up and explodes. The Ostrich who buries it’s head and emotions; pushes anger down. The Chicken who carries anger in their heart but won’t confront; uses sarcasm and backbiting. The Vulture who never shares but hovers in order to say, “I told you so.” The Mockingbird who continually mocks others in anger. And my personal favorite, the Yellow-Bellied Sap Sucker, who is always mad; nothing is ever good enough and loves to give the guilt trip.
But, we also learned from God’s word, how to speak the truth in love (v15), not to sin in our anger (v26), to only speak that which lifts others up (v29), not to grieve the Holy Spirit (v30), to get rid of all types of malice (v31) and to be kind and compassionate, forgiving others as Christ has us (v32). Aristotle once said, “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is certainly not easy.” Hurt, frustration and insecurity can all be the root causes of our anger and being angry at others means we are ultimately angry with God because we know He can prevent those bad things that happen. When we confess our anger and get it out, we are then able to breathe in forgiveness and healing. When God places those angry birds in our life, they are chipping away at the rough edges of our character and helping us to better resemble Christ.
Are you an “Angry Bird” in someone’s life? How can you apply these truths to your relationships and bring healing and forgiveness today?