The Problem with Anger
Go ahead and be angry.
You do well to be angry –
but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge.
And don’t stay angry.
Don’t go to bed angry.
Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.
EPHESIANS 4:26-27 (THE MESSAGE)
Feeling anger is not a sin but how we react to that feeling is where we can open ourselves up to sin. The above Scripture describes two ways we can sin in response to feeling anger. We can be an oppressor by allowing rage to control us and control others or we can be a suppressor of our anger and allow a bitter root of resentment to grow poisoning our relationship. Dave and I have both responses covered – we are both guilty.
Dave was an oppressor and his anger exploded during his cancer journey. Whenever he would feel anger because of fear, hurt or frustration, he would often explode with uncontrollable rage. He was never physically abusive but he was definitely verbally abusive with his words and tone which would send me inside myself and I would shut down. But I knew he was unable to express his pain by crying (he was taught that boys don’t cry) and I felt sorry for him.
But I was hurt by his words and by stuffing and suppressing that pain/anger I was feeling, a bitter root of resentment developed in my heart towards Dave. And to top it off I built walls around that bitter root so that it continued to grow – it slowly poisoned me from the inside out.
Fortunately for Dave, several years after Dave’s amputation he went for a year of anger counseling when he became aware that his rage was sin and I can honestly testify that Dave has not had a rageful fit for 25 years. But I was not made aware of my suppressed anger until I started walking through my anger issues this past year.
Awareness is the first step to transforming behaviors and the Holy Spirit which lives inside of me, has been revealing to me one of the roots of my adult lifelong battle with depression. Suppressing anger was destroying me from the inside out. I am so grateful to share that I no longer suppress my hurt, fear or frustration and I have experienced the healing Grace of God this past year through my husband, my adult children and the heartfelt counsel of old and new friends that God has blessed me with.
How do you respond when you feel anger? I pray that if you are struggling that you will pray and ask God to direct you to others who can help you with your hurts, fear and frustrations. It is life-giving! Life-changing!
The heartfelt counsel of a friend
is as sweet as perfume and incense.
PROVERBS 27:9 (NLT)
On the journey with you,