OF ALL OF your emotions, anger is the rawest, strongest and potentially the most destructive, and is the direct cause of all the murders that are occurring in Philadelphia today.

Before Cain killed Abel anger came about and the first act of murder took place. The first murder in civilization was committed because of anger and today anger is still the vehicle that drives us to kill someone. We have all been angry and will get angry in the future so the issue is how we should deal with this emotion, and its effect on us.

Jesus experienced anger and yet did not succumb to sin; therefore we do not have to allow anger to sweep us up and cause us to commit all types of harmful acts. Anger produces a host of physical ailments within us including ulcers and hypertension.

The most common companion of anger is depression. Depression is anger turned inward, and aggression is anger turned outward. Anger produces a poisonous toxin, and if we are not careful this toxin can impact our ability to consider the consequences of our actions.

Therefore, we must first start by acknowledging that we are angry and then tell God. Tell him the truth that he already knows. It's impossible to hide your anger from a God who knows everything. Tell God who you are angry at, open the channel of communication to the one who will not condemn you for the way that you feel.

Identifying your source of anger will keep you from hurting those who are innocent like the husband who is angry at his wife and takes it out on his children, or people who get angry at home but co-workers have to suffer for it.

No one can make you angry; you make yourself angry. You can control your own emotions when God, who gives you the power of self-control, indwells you. There is no excuse for "out of control" anger. Allow the "fruit of self-control," which is produced by the Holy Spirit, to be cultivated in your life. Deal with your anger by using the power God has given you.

Ephesians 4:31 says, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice."

The Spirit of God is available to help us forgive those whose actions have led to sinful expressions of anger. Suppressed anger or ongoing rage and resentment are spiritual barriers against the love of God. People may hurt us, but we must respond in forgiveness. You can become victorious over any situation through Jesus Christ.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that he came to a conscious decision one day that he "was not going to kill anybody." Today every person in the city of Philadelphia needs to come to that same conscious decision not to kill anybody. Let's stop the violence!