Monday, August 13, 2012

Anger Management

I think many people have the wrong impression of how a Christian is supposed to act.  They believe that a "good" Christian is all smiles, sunshine, puppy dogs, and rainbows all the time.  I think that is a very unfair expectation placed upon anyone.

If we were to study out the emotions of Jesus from the picture of His life we have through the Gospels, we would see a Man who wasn't just happy shiny.  Jesus wept (John 11:35).  Jesus was angry when He drove out the money changers from the temple (Matthew 21:12-13).  I am SURE He was exasperated when He had to explain to His disciples the meanings of many of the parables he used.  I am also pretty sure He was a relatively FUN guy, too, or He wouldn't have managed to hang out at the parties He went to with the sinners and tax collectors.

Jesus was an emotional guy.  So shouldn't we who claim His name also be allowed to display the full range of emotions?

Today, I am thinking a lot about anger.  The range from slightly perturbed through righteous indignation all the way to full on nearly homicidal (if I thought I could get away with it) Road Rage.

I struggle(d) with Anger Issues.  I will admit it.  What I find odd is that I can hardly remember much anger in my life as a child or teen.  Anger seems to have found me as an adult.  The darkest period of anger was during and immediately after my divorce.  And, yes, it continued for several years.

In hindsight, there was NO justification for my anger.  It was from a selfish point of view, "I can't believe she left ME," "How can she do this to ME?"  And looking at the reasons why from a neutral point of view now, I am surprised she stayed as long as she did.

Anyway, I was (am?) the kind of person who would not address issues at home. I had (have) a hard time putting words to my emotions, especially when I feel as though I need to be on the defensive (I always felt that way-not needing to-just a mechanism of defense from my youth). I would not speak my mind.  I would let the emotions fester inside until they would just explode in loud, charged conversations (yes, I would yell).  I have been known to throw things.  Even in my hottest moments, however, I was NEVER physically abusive (he justifies his poor behavior...).

That was then...  Now, I have a hard time keeping the words inside.  I lack a filter, I speak my mind and will do so regardless (mostly) of location.  I am trying to not keep things inside.  I am letting them flow out as they arise (or trying at least).  Not saying in all areas of my life I am filter free; I still struggle with one area, though it is becoming more free as the days pass and I realize I do not need to fear (1 John 4:18).

The important thing to remember is it is OK to be angry, Jesus was.  We just need to not sin in our anger nor hold on to it.  For in doing so, we allow Satan a foothold in our life.

Read Ephesians 4:26-27 (KJV):
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.
It is the not sinning part that will always be hardest, for it is a constant battle.  I am not saying that I become evil when angry, just that perhaps I am not as prone to love those who anger me.  And we are commanded to love one another (not just the people that we like).  By loving only those whom I am not mad at and failing to love those who may anger me, I am not following His command.  Partial obedience is total disobedience, ergo it is a sin...need to work on my loving.

Lord, help me to be more like You.  Allow me to display all emotions, but in a manner that is worthy of my walk with You, and does not do damage to the label "Christian."  

Rejoice and be glad.


  1. Excellent points. I agree, though it is difficult at times, by not loving those that anger us or make us experience non-pleasant emotions,we are disobeying. It's hard to think that way and "love thy neighbor". Good article. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you Tawnee.

      It is a struggle when I realize all the little ways in which I am not in obedience. I WANT to be fully obedient. I want to love Him as completely (If you love Me, obey my commandments)as I can. I know I will fail, but everyday I try to become closer to what He desires of me.