Love, Not Anger, Is the Answer

ANGER seems to be in vogue these days. But anger can never be more than it is, a negative that tears down because it resorts to the opposite of what man really is in God's image. Love actually characterizes man in God's image, because God Himself is divine Love and makes nothing that does not fully reflect the perfection of His own being.

Because anger appears to operate in partnership with its buddy, fear, it can seem quite successful in intimidating people. But its success is only temporary. In the end, anger does not achieve anything good or lasting or even beneficial to the individual expressing it. In fact, anger is most harmful to the one who resorts to it. When we endeavor to express the love of God and adopt that as our approach, we are successful in the short run as well as the long run. And everyone involved is blessed.

Anger is not and never will be part of anything that God creates, and He created all there is. What's more, the Bible is resolute in teaching that God, good, alone is power and that God's power and presence destroy evil.

In the Old Testament, the Bible tells us about Naaman. Evidently, he was quite the leader in Syria--and a much admired warrior. But he was afflicted with leprosy, the Bible tells us in Second Kings. A captive maid from Israel told Naaman's wife about Elijah, the prophet, and how this prophet could heal. When Naaman heard about this, he went to Israel for healing. Elijah, however, did not do what Naaman had expected and come out to meet him. Instead Elijah sent a messenger telling him to bathe in the Jordan River and he would be healed. The Bible says ''Naaman was wroth'' at this suggestion--weren't the rivers in his own country far better? ''So he turned and went away in a rage'' (5:11, 12).

Naaman may have been accustomed to relying on anger and aggressiveness to make him a successful warrior. But anger could not heal him of leprosy. In fact, it kept him from following Elijah's instructions until his servants pointed out how willingly he would have done much harder things to be healed. Then Naaman relented and humbly dipped himself into the Jordan. His servants loved him enough to speak, and he loved enough to listen to their urgings. The Bible records the result, ''And his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean'' (5:14).

When we see that God always governs his creation harmoniously, we can see that anger is no part of His creation. There is no way to overstate this fact: God is divine Love itself. He is Love, not just Deity with a loving nature, but the all of Love. In His nature, there are no opposites. So, His love is the rule, and there is no place for anger or its effects.

The Bible clearly tells us that God makes man in His image. Since God is Spirit and not matter, man is spiritual and not material. ''Man, made in His likeness,'' says the Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ''possesses and reflects God's dominion over all the earth. Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God, forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God'' (p. 516).

No one who understands even a little of herself or himself as the child of a loving God would feel that anger or rage has any place in her or his life. Certainly, it does not accomplish anything good and lasting. In Mark's Gospel, Christ Jesus points out, ''How can Satan cast out Satan?'' (3:23). Anger, irritableness, ill temper, rage, intimidation, and yes, fear--not one of them has any right to be in our homes or cars or workplaces. That's because they don't have any right to be in our thought. Lifting our whole heart to embrace God's law rules out fear and anger. And when we realize the outlaw nature of anger, we'll learn more quickly to reject it and allow the calm and loving response that already waits to govern our actions.

Then, we will have discovered the true way, the way of God's love. This shows us His power at work to bring resolution to whatever we are facing.

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