(By Lois Robinson)
Anger, a gift? Some of you may highly disagree with the title of this blog! Some of you have witnessed anger being used in a controlling, manipulative way that brings division and harm at times. That is called externalizing your anger. That would be an example of taking a gift and using it in a wrong way. Just like getting a beautiful vase, a one of a kind, but using it as a hammer just because you needed to put a nail in the wall to hang a picture. The vase was never created to be used in that way. It will break, and someone may even get hurt when it shatters. Make sense? Then there are those who don’t break things but internalize their anger. They just don’t acknowledge any feelings of anger whatsoever; they deny it. Both are wrong ways of dealing with this emotion.
The bible, otherwise known as the Word of God, actually says to be angry. It is actually a command! Check it out:
Ephesians 4:26 (NRSV)
"Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,"
When I saw this, I was taken back. I never read this particular verse as a command. I only paid attention to the ‘do not sin’ part. As I then started breaking this verse down, it became clearer and clearer to me, through the Holy Spirit, that it would be impossible not to get angry in this broken world we live in. There are so many teachings saying anger is a sin, it’s wrong to get angry, Christians don’t get angry, and the list goes on and on. The verse that I have posted in this blog says just the opposite! That’s why it is so important we make sure we know what God Himself says about anger and other issues as well.
So, why am I calling this emotion of anger a gift? Here goes!
Anger is the barometer of your heart that tells you something needs to be dealt with- a quote from Pastor Nate Howard, Living Faith Alliance Church. So in trying to sort through what needs to be dealt with, you can unpack it with this next bit of information:
Anger is considered a Secondary Emotion. It is actually made up of three Primary Emotions:
- Hurt Feelings
So the next time you feel anger, see if it is a Fear Anger, a Frustration Anger or a Hurt Feelings Anger. It may be a combination of a couple or all three as well. That can help you understand where the anger is coming from so you can know how to move forward in dealing with it.
Processing the anger correctly will prevent the following destructive pattern from occurring:
It is critical that you pay attention to what you are feeling inside and then make healthy choices to deal with it correctly. Otherwise destruction comes from internalizing it.
Hebrews 12:15 (NRSV)
"See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled."
That is a heavy verse, friends. I would encourage you to stop externalizing anger in controlling, manipulative ways, if that is your tendency. I would also encourage any of you who hold it all in/ internalize it, to process it and take steps to handle it in a healthy manner.
Blessings Friends -