This is a story posted by Ellie which I thought was really good and valuable.
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.
The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there. "A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us."
This is really good, I think it's a great attitude to have to try not to get angry at people, no matter how hard it is!
In the past, I always thought of anger as a sin but as I've been reading recently in my Bible notes, it's what we do in anger that is a sin. We're totally right to be angry when innocent people are mistreated unfairly, however it's definitely wrong if we feel like we want to punch someone for something little like pushing infront of you in a queue...
Paul tells the Ephesians (Eph. 4:25-26) to 'not sin by letting anger control you'. We need to take a step back if we feel angry unecessarily, until we can start pulling out those nails. In Proverbs 15:4 it says 'Kind words heal and help. Cutting words wound and maim'. This tells us how we should act to our friends and family, but also everyone else we meet in life. James, in his letter, reminds us that 'man's anger does not bring the righteous life that God desires' (James 1:20). A Christian should be aiming to live a righteous life in order to please God. As I heard in church this week (and tweeted on June 14th) the way to live a righteous, God pleasing life is to try to live as Christ Jesus lived and Jesus himself tells us that 'you're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight' (Matthew 5:9).
This week has taught me that it's not toally wrong to be angry but to remember that, if you do feel anger for some reason, you should remember to try not to sin in your anger. Try not to show anger towards people, especially with harsh words. Instead, talk to people in a decent way and always try to cooperate rather than fight, showing others your example.