Angry at Change, Process, others? Part 4
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19-20
Why do we hang on to anger? There are three main reasons. 1)
2) Deflection When we have done wrong we become angry. Instead of accepting the responsibility for our actions, we get angry. We use our anger as a weapon against those who expose and shame us. We try to turn the tables on them to get the attention off ourselves.
3) Distancing. Anger can also be an attempt to make sure that others don’t get close enough to discover our weakness. We keep others away from us.
If we are angry towards others it is because we feel we have been threatened, hurt, belittled, shames or controlled. Anger directed toward ourselves will fuel suicidal behaviour that strips vitality from life. Both lead to devastation.
But what do we do with our anger? 1) Repression. Many people repress their anger because it is a frightening emotion and we want to avoid it. This often leads to depression because it is easier to shut down and no longer engage with their world because they have discovered that all their efforts to make life work on their terms have failed. Some people also pretend that all is well but reality is that they feel nothing at all- no pain or joy.
2) Shallow confession. This is often recognized as mishandling anger and being quick to confess that you were angry and it is wrong. Yet it is important to explore our anger and expose its roots.
3) Outbursts of anger. We all need to express our feelings but it must be done with the discernment and regard for others.
Are you feeling angry right now? What has caused this feeling to emerge? Was it something you did or did someone hurt or offend, physically harm you or upset you so much that you are searching for words of anger? What do you normally do with this anger? Repress it, deflect it or dismiss it? Which is the best way to handle this anger for you? We are called to control our anger. This does not say not to get angry but to control it so that there is not a volcanic eruption, tucking it away forever or even half confessing something that is normal. Anger is an emotion we experience—we need to deal with it and why it emerges in us.
God of love, you know what it is like to become angry. How often you must feel this when people who have loved you their whole lives turn away from you or hurt you through their actions and words rather than sharing of themselves in love. As you get angry too, we need to know how we might control the anger but not throw it out. Help us to face these angry filled fears. We ask this as we know that you will continue to love us through all of it. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
RESOURCE “When Anger Burns: A Biblical View on Handling Anger” by Tim Jackson. Grand Rapids, MI: Our Daily Bread Ministries. (p.23-27) We will conclude this series on anger next week!