Living Life

Jesus, Me, and the Kitchen Table

On Anger

on September 3, 2014

This is a topic I’ve thought about addressing for awhile…. I would have been the last person to try to write or talk to others about this subject. However, several weeks ago I was visiting a church for the first time. In the middle of worship a woman who I did not know came to me and said she struggles with anger and bitterness. Furthermore, she felt like she was supposed to ask me to pray for her. Wow. Me? I wanted to say, “are you sure you have the right person?” Why me?

Through the years I have learned a lot about dealing with anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness.
My life has been FULL of opportunities to forgive, place things in God’s hands and then move on.
But here are my basic words of wisdom or experience on anger and such.

First, when we have been hurt, forgiveness is a choice. Forgiveness is not a feeling.
Most of the time when you make the choice to forgive it will not “feel” good.
It’s our human nature to want to hold onto such hurts. But God instructs us to not only forgive, but to do good for and pray for our enemies. So the first step is to choose to forgive.
Not forgiving only leads to bitterness and will only hurt you in the end.

Bitterness eats at your should. It will turn into an ugly, hideous place that like a cancer, will eat away at your emotions and your heart.

Sometimes we feel we have a right to be angry. But we actually don’t have that right, especially if you are a Christian. We have to learn to let it go. Give it to Him and leave it there. It’s not that anger in itself is a sin. Even Jesus was angry at the money changers in the temple. But He did not sin in His anger. Most of us are not that good… we cannot be angry and sin not. We can’t be angry and not think bad thoughts or wish revenge, or hold a grudge. That’s where the problem is for us. So it’s better to let it go than hold onto it.

When we choose to forgive, then at some point I have always felt that God supplies that feeling of “forgiveness”. If you can talk about the past problem without getting emotional all over again, then you have probably been successful in forgiving.

One of the hardest kinds of anger to deal with is the kind where there are constant continuous instances of insult. These are situations where you may have decided to accept the circumstances as they are, even though you don’t like them, can’t do anything about it, etc., but you end up being hurt and re-hurt on a regular basis by the same person or situation (custody cases, etc). I don’t have a lot of advice for this, except that it takes a lot of time in prayer, intimacy with the Lord, to have His heart for the people involved. Only when we have been with Him and have been given His love for others, can we pass it onto them. Our own strength alone is never enough. It will always fall short.

So to bring this to an end, I did pray for this woman. I realized that maybe I have come a long way in my own anger issues. I’m basically free! And that is a good place to be! I have learned that so many of the things we get hurt or offended over, are not that important in the big scheme of things. Don’t get me wrong, some things are worse than others. When offended or hurt, be quick to pray about it. Don’t do anything to make the situation worse… like gossip about the person or persons involved… talk to them if necessary. Make the choice to forgive. Trust God to supply the feeling. You may have to take it to Him more than once. When it rates its ugly head, step on it by taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. I’m not trying to be an expert on the subject, but just wanting to share my heart. I think you’ll find the more you get in the habit of forgiving and letting go, that each time it gets a little easier. God bless you!

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