Anger is an emotion that can be easy to get into but very hard to get out of. It can build and build or it can catch us off guard. You may have been raised around a lot of anger and you have seen as well as felt the results of that. You may also find that you are “just like your dad/mom” when it comes to anger and you want to change that pattern. Many times, people will carry the pattern of anger from their childhood into their adult relationships because that is what they are familiar with and feel they deserve.
You may still be mad at one or both of your parents as well as others and you may have some very good reasons to be angry. Being angry isn’t necessarily wrong, but what you do with it can be very wrong. You may have lived this first hand and have seen many wrong ways to express anger. Think how anger played a role in your family when you were growing up; how it was dealt with, how it felt, how it scared you, who got hurt and how, and so forth.
For some of us, the grip of anger has held us for so long that it is almost like a “comfortable shoe” and we see no other way to look at things. It has clouded our thinking to the point that we almost define ourselves by it. People may describe us by saying, “He/She is such a negative person. They always see the glass as half empty. They just have a big chip on their shoulder. They are not really pleasant to be around.” It is easy for others to say, “You need to get over it and move on. It’s in the past.” Much easier said than done for some, right? They just don’t understand you or what is deep inside of you. The many years of anger that has never been resolved, years of abuse, hurt and negative input have brought you to this place. They don’t know you.
Well, Jesus does and He is here to lovingly heal you so you can be free of the “grip of the chain”. Ask the Lord to shed light on the dark corners and unveil what you hide inside so you can find healing from your anger. It will take time, but you are worth it, friend.
Many times, someone who lives in anger lashes out at the ones he/she trust the most because they feel safe with them. What you may not know, however, is that you are crushing the spirit of those you get angry with. You are shredding their self-worth, live in fear, and make them crumble under the weight of YOUR anger. Think about the consequences of your anger on others. Your children, spouse, drivers on the road, or anyone else in your path have to suffer for the hurt you are pouring on them. It really isn’t about them at all; it is YOUR damage.
You may also be mad at God for letting all this happen to your family or that you were abused in any way. You may even blame Him, but the truth is again that God gives us all a free will and didn’t “make” anyone hurt you. He didn’t cause the breakup of your family; people in your family did. He didn’t cause your own separation/divorce. You may, however, never know why He allowed such pain to happen in your life, but please know that you can take that pain and grow from it and be free from the issues of it. Anger is a natural response to hurt, fear, disappointment or not getting your own way. Beneath the anger, though is mostly hurt. We will explore that in the next blog.
The issue of anger has many layers to it and in “Chained No More” classes, we address each layer in depth. Participants explore and realize the grip that anger has had on their lives; decisions, relationships, social issues and family dynamics. As they begin to face it head on, understand and heal, their relationships begin to change in positive ways and their perspectives begin to change. They begin to smile again as they let the Lord Jesus lead them to His healing.
The Word of God is very clear about anger, the effects of it and how He doesn’t want us to live in a world of anger where we hurt others and ourselves. It is never too late to evaluate the reason for our anger, the emotions behind it, the effects others’ anger have had on us and how our anger has affected others. There are professional and lay counselors in your area that can walk you through this process, if you will seek them out so the “grip of the chain” can be loosened in your life.
“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” Proverbs 29:11
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” James 1:19,20