Monday, April 24, 2017

Expressing Anger

Submitted by Van Houser
BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. Ephesians 4:26-27

There are those who seem to think that it is possible to live without anger or that anger is a sin.  They are very, very wrong.  Anger is merely an emotional response to a given act or behavior.  It only becomes a sin when (as James says) we sleep with it. 
Therefore, anger must be expressed in order to be released.  But how do we do that without sinning?  What is the proper method of expressing our anger?
Expression of Anger
In our culture, there is much encouragement to "let it all out" and that the expression of our individual feelings is a priority for health. In Eastern cultures, angry expressions are seen as weakness. (Ex: No fortune cookie encourages exploding at another; they encourage self-control.)  While self-expression may be important to the individual health, some community-based cultures see it as divisive.  The real key is how anger is expressed in a way that reduces the pressure.
1.    Expressed anger must not be done angrily.  Speaking from emotion seldom provides logic for solution.  See what the Bible says about anger and speech and you will discover the many commands to cool down before talking.
2.    Expressed anger is best when directed at the individual or situation that is the source. Talking to another is only beneficial to get information to confirm your perception of the event.  We will not feel that the issue is resolved unless we know the one who hurt us has been addressed.  That is why scripture commands us to go to our brother when offended.
3.    Expressed anger directed at the source resolves many issues if they understand your concern.  Knowing they understand gives confidence it won’t happen again. 
4.    Expressed anger may assist you in gaining control of a situation or to regain a sense of justice to restore relationship.  For this to be appropriate, the display of anger must match the severity of the offense. Don't go beyond it or you may be more destructive than constructive with your anger.  Also, under responding may not give you the feeling of justice that you need.
5.    Another positive expression of anger is that it can remove guilt. Once we have expressed our disappointment or anger the individual who wronged us feels penalized appropriately. To hold them in bondage is to create hostility.
These are just some pointers on dealing with anger directed at an individual.  There is much more in scripture about dealing with anger.  No where does it say to just ignore it.  One last thing…pray before you speak and, if possible, pray with the person you are angry with.  Sleep well without anger.

Scripture to Claim:
This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20

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