Developments in the Ray Rice domestic violence case has taken a radical change with the release of a video showing the actual act of violence between Rice and his then fiancée, Janay Palmer.
The video vividly proves that domestic violence is a hurtful, senseless act. Anger and violence are fundamental parts of the human condition. From the murder of Able to the crucifixion of Jesus, we learn that violence is the direct result of anger. However, it is never right for a man to hit a woman.
While the Bible is filled with anger and violence by no means does God condones it. Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20 English Standard Version
Controlling our anger is the key to controlling violence. God commands us to do so when we are told to love thy neighbor as thyself. Mark 12:13.
Godly Tips for Controlling Anger
We serve a wonderful God. He never commands us to do anything without guidance.
God’s Guidance in Scripture:
1. Anger Is Not Sin
Many of us have been taught that anger is sin. Therefore, we feel “sinful” when we are angry. Paul stated it clearly when he said, “In your anger do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26). The challenge is not “Don’t get angry;” but, the challenge is not to sin when we are angry.
2. Deal With Your Unresolved Anger
….let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak [and] slow to anger for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20
Unresolved anger makes it impossible to do God’s work. Anger from the past must be acknowledged and confessed. He is a God of peace. Apologies for silent or open anger must be made.
3. Replace Anger With Acts Of Kindness
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31
Peace and fullness of love will not be activated unless we replace our angry spirit with a loving, peaceful spirit. We must not focus on what we should not do. The focus should be on what God want us to do. Be practical. Write down a few things you can do for that friend you have wounded or that person with whom you’re angry.
Regulate your conversation by polite statements and well-intentioned motives. Example: “I will not interrupt another person while they are speaking. I will wait for them to finish what they are saying before I speak.”
Final Thoughts – The Redemption of Ray Rice
The future does not look bright for Ray Rice. He is now unemployed, suspended from gaining new employment in the NFL and the embarrassing, heinous act of his participation in domestic violence is online for the world to see. Ray Rice, once the toast of the NFL, is now disgraced. In denying Jesus, Peter committed a heinous act for all the world to see. A disciple who heard the teachings of Jesus firsthand and had vowed to follow him until the end was disgraced.
However, within the depths of Peter’s disgrace there was redemption. Jesus redeemed Peter prior to the actual heinous act by telling him: “But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Peter that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32 New Living Translation (NLT) Jesus knew what Peter was going to face. So, He gave him guidance to ensure that Peter would know how to return to his faith and then, be qualified to help someone else when they fail.
While Ray Rice may never play again in the NFL; he can, like Peter, play on God’s team. Jesus ensured Ray’s place and our place on the team by enduring the anger and the violence of the cross.
If we accept and follow God’s guidance we will be able to get through the anger and the violence. What’s waiting for us on the side? Love! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 King James Version (KJV)
Welcome to the team Ray! Coach Jesus has your playbook!