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Have a read of Joseph’s story in Genesis 37, and 39 to 50. He had every reason to be angry, bitter, and vindictive for the despicable way in which his brothers treated him. But what does he do? He doesn’t get enraged and he doesn’t even get even. He helps Egypt, the land that enslaved and falsely imprisoned him, to survive famine. He feeds his family when they come begging for food. He forgives, and in doing so, he is freed from his negative emotions. He resolves the issues of the past, doesn’t allow them to deter his destiny, and stays in the favour of God.
As second-in-command in Egypt, Joseph held the power of life and death over those who had hurt him. But he told them: ‘“You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good to save the lives of many people, which is being done. So don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your children.” So Joseph comforted his brothers and spoke kind words to them.’ (v.20-21).
We all have emotional reactions in our relationships; the problem isn’t the anger or the disappointment – unless we’re being controlled by our emotions. Whenever anger causes us to damage the things God has given, our emotions are being mismanaged. When we don’t manage our anger, we give the devil an open door. ‘“Don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil’ (Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT). So let’s learn to manage our emotions.
Ask God to help you use feelings of anger as a reminder to immediately talk to Him about the problem rather than lashing out and hurting the person or people who may have sparked it.
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