We’ve all got ’em. Whether we would all admit to that or not, is the real question. It seems that any time in my life when I’ve thought that things are going smoothly and I could relax along the “journey”, the fact that I’m wrong hits me like a brick to the forehead. We are never done. It seems that the need for self-improvement and growth only gets larger as we get older.
I recently saw a humorous quote that I hadn’t seen in a couple of years, “I wouldn’t have to manage my anger if you would manage your stupidity”. That’s funny. But if you ever really think it’s true in real life, it’s time to pay more attention in “How to Be a Decent Human – 101” class. That kind of proud attitude is a dead end, because it never works for long before self-destructing.
For years, I’ve expressed my upset, fears and frustrations as anger. I’ve been seen raising my voice & giving a verbal lashing to those closest to me. I’ve sworn horrid obscenities, called names and generally said a lot of things that nobody says when they aren’t in the throes of anger. Here’s the kicker – I’ve usually blamed those episodes on someone else’s behavior! Until quite recently, I had ignored the very thing I’ve talked about many times – that we are in complete control of our own behavior.
Isn’t My Anger Justified?
There is such a thing as righteous anger. We’ve seen throughout the Bible that God gets angry but I’ve seen very, very few examples of humans displaying “righteous anger”. More often, we humans lash out and hurt someone else for the sake of jealousy, selfishness, disappointments, etc. That is abusive.
I’m no one to preach on the subject of anger. I’ve struggled in this area most of my life. But in those struggles, I’ve found a few things well worth passing along. Even if you aren’t spiritual, the concepts are worthy of consideration.
I recently heard a man who has overcome his own unrighteous anger as he taught on the subject. He quoted Ephesians 4:26-27, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” When we are sinful in our anger and cause hurt or offense to others, we are unrighteous in doing so. Any time our bitterness, anger or frustration is caused by some kind of selfish motivation (not getting what we want, another person not meeting our expectations, etc.), it is unrighteous anger.
Get It Out! Express Your Anger In A Constructive Way
Have to get something off your chest? There isn’t any reason to be bitter or act in a hateful, angry way. Ephesians 4:15 tells us to speak the truth in a loving way.
Once we’ve already let that inner demon out to hurt someone, we can either ignore it and let our pride shield us from the fact that we’ve been wrong & hurtful – or – to go forward and make amends, we need to confess how we’ve gone wrong. He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
While we are totally responsible for our own behavior toward another person, answering for it here in this life and eventually answering to our Maker, we will always feel certain frustrations. I don’t know how long I’ll struggle with this. I do know I’m making progress.
We don’t have to choose to yell and pour out obscenities. We don’t have to choose to ignore & distance ourselves from the problem. We can choose to exercise our own will over that “inner demon”…and not let it have power over us. That inner demon is Satan’s influence. The same great guy that I listened to about unrighteous anger, taught that if it’s not acting out of love (which is of God), then it’s acting out of evil, which is of the Devil. There is no justifying anything else. There is no in between. Contentious behavior is never inspired of God…and it spreads so deeply, so fast.
I’m grateful to have the support of some very awesome people in my life who’ve helped me to see when I have been self-destructive & hurtful to others by allowing that proud spirit of contention to dictate how I behaved. It’s not easy to always keep in mind what “spirit” is behind our actions at the moment we’re emotional. But choosing to continue in blinding pride and hurtful anger will inevitably lead to that dead end. From there, you’ve got to back up and sometimes make some serious repairs.
While the road ahead may be long, it will never look the same once you leave that angry demon by the wayside and choose to go forward in a constructive way.