The title of this post may sound conflicting, but joy can truly emerge out of the ability to express anger (in a safe environment).
While sipping my hot latte and listening to the sounds of rain dance along the pavement this morning, I stared into the face of a dear friend as we talked about anger.
Anger is a beautiful gift that shows us when something has gone wrong or when a boundary has been crossed in our lives. And just as it goes in, it must come out.
Anger is an emotion that everyone can relate to. At some point in our lives (and maybe even today), we have all have been angered by the actions of others, the circumstances of life, or even by God Himself (which is generally a product of misunderstanding Him).
Regardless of the circumstance, this anger can often point us to deeper wounds that exist within us. An immature spirit. An unforgiving heart. A wounded soul. A history of abuse or violence. Or even a misconception of God.
The Word encourages us to be “slow to anger, and not to sin.” Take a close look at this, beloved. God is giving us FULL permission to be angry, yet not to sin. How does one do this? Only through the grace of Jesus Christ (just as it is with all good things). This is a wonderful example of applying God’s truth as quoted in Philippians: “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.”
Anger is healthy. God gets angry at times, and there is nothing in His word that states that anger in itself is sinful. Why? Simply because it’s not. Yet, we as sinful humans can taint this emotion and create a trail of destruction.
“The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 145:8
“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
What do you do when your blood pressure is rising, your head is becoming hot, and your tongue is prepared to lash out a few regrettable words in response to another?
You stop and you pray. Go directly to Jesus.
When someone pushes your buttons, aggravating your very flesh – take a step back, run to a closet, and go talk to the Lord. Without Him we will sin.
“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Proverbs 29:11
The more you control today through Christ, the easier it gets later. And this is how we grow into women and men of understanding.
“Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.” Proverbs 14:29
I want you to ask yourself this question: “Am I an angry person?”
If the answer is yes, my suggestion is for you to do the following three things:
1. Talk to the Lord about your anger. Surrender your feelings and those who have hurt you into His hands.
2. Express your anger safely in a healthy environment. This may include going for a run, taking a boxing class, punching a few pillows, crying, screaming in your car, or even writing a letter explicitly sharing what you feel (and burning it thereafter). You MUST respect the emotion (which God created) and give your heart the freedom it needs to be relieved. Continue to seek the Lord, and healing will come to reside in that place where anger once lived.
3. Lovingly confront the individual who has hurt you (even if you believe it is God Himself). There is incredible power in communication – purging what’s in the dark and bringing it into light.
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil”. Ephesians 4:26-27
Rule your anger through the grace of Jesus Christ (by meditating and applying God’s Word in prayer), and use this emotion to your advantage as a tool of refinement rather than allowing it to bring you to sin.
“Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” Proverbs 16:32
Will you surrender your issues of anger to the Lord Jesus Christ and allow Him to set you free?
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