I’ve had a few discussions lately where people are angry, yes, frankly, me as well. Angry about this, that or the other thing. I guess if we look around us, we have plenty of reasons to be angry. Unemployment, foreclosures, politics, war, murder, racism, sex trafficking, laws, etc. We can all find a reason to be angry. But I wonder, do we HAVE to be angry?
In looking at some things about anger, it seems like anger is rarely a base emotion. Anger tends to be a result of an emotion like hurt, frustration, anxiety, embarrassment, etc. Think about the last time you were angry … why? Why were you angry? Now ask yourself, “Did I really have to be angry?” Be honest with yourself. Did you REALLY have to be angry?
There are rare circumstances where we do have to be angry, but it seems like more often than not, it’s a choice we make. We think about the base emotional trigger, meditate on it, and then become angry. Now let’s dig a little deeper, the last time, was it really anger you were feeling? Stop. Think. Evaluate. Was it REALLY anger you were feeling? Or was angry how you reacted. It’s so easy to give a strong negative emotion the title of anger.
Instead of saying, “I was hurt.” We lash out in anger. Instead of saying, “I feel rejected.” We react with anger. “I disagree with you” becomes “I’m mad at you.”
I don’t know, I could be making this all up. lol Just thoughts going through my mind based on conversations. Do we really have to be angry? Or can we just be what we are. Yes, I looked it up in the Bible. Yes, I looked at what Jesus did. And you know what, I think He chose when to be angry. There were plenty of times He could have been, but wasn’t. And the two times He was, it had nothing to do with Himself personally.
One thing I know for sure, we do choose what we do with our anger. Ephesians 4 can back it up since it says be angry but do not sin. We choose what we do with this emotion, just as we do with all the other emotions. If we hurt someone with our anger, it isn’t a good anger. And if we were really honest with ourselves, we would probably say we knew we weren’t doing right. One way to get over anger is to really own the feeling you are having which has provoked the anger. Think about it like this. Can you tell yourself not to be afraid? Or are you just afraid? You can talk yourself through a fear, but it’s a feeling inside your body you can’t really control. Can you tell yourself not to be hurt? Not really, you can talk yourself through the hurt, but you can’t just say, stop being hurt. Can you tell yourself, don’t love? Don’t be embarrassed? How often is anger really your first true feeling?
I am proposing it goes more like this. I get angry because I was hurt. I get angry because I was rejected. I get angry because I am embarrassed. Or maybe even I get angry and I don’t know why, but if I took the time to think it through, I would discover why.
Point is, the Bible wouldn’t tell us, be angry but do not sin, if we weren’t able to control anger.
I think the key to controlling our anger comes from God. The closer we are to God, the easier it is to manage our true feelings and keep them from turning into anger.
Next time I think I am feeling anger, I am going to ask myself, “Is this really anger you feel, or anger you are choosing?” The act accordingly, and do not sin. How about you? Will you try it? Let me know what you discover!