AngerHandbook 1: Article 90 - Be Creative With Your Feelings

Anger is an internal explosion that encompasses and mobilizes our entire being into an emotional time bomb. Suddenly it bursts forth into the world around us and relentlessly batters everyone or everything in its path. It is as if we are fury itself and are hell-bent to wither or destroy everything we contact. Our anger is king and any attempt to rein it in is futile. There is no escape for ourselves or others until it expends itself. We are left feeling weak, helpless, and afraid for we know it will happen again.

Usually we react to our outburst in one of two ways:

  1. We make a conscious decision to somehow control it next time.
  2. We conclude that our anger was justified, that anger must be expressed to maintain emotional health or our anger was in defense of some greater cause (righteous indignation).

Scripture is not so generous to us.

"Let everyone... be slow to anger -- for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God."

James 1: 19

That bursts the theory of righteous indignation.

"Now the deeds of the flesh are evident which are immorality, impurity, idolatry... outbursts of anger... of which I warn you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

Galatians 5: 19-21

So expressing anger is dangerous business. In addition it gives Satan an entrance:

"Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil a place."

Ephesians 4: 26, 27

How then do we use our anger creatively? First recognize that anger is usually a blow to our egos with the result that we feel our rights have been violated or we have been unjustly accused. We feel attacked so we attack. Next, ask God's help to destroy this vicious pattern. Scripture tells us how!

"Tremble, be afraid of sinning. Do not sin.
Speak in your heart upon your bed, and be still.
Offer sacrifices of righteousness,
And trust in the Lord."

Psalm 4

I interpreted it this way:

  1. Know immediately that I am in serious spiritual trouble.
  2. Bite my tongue.
  3. Run for my life to a place where I am alone.
  4. Calm myself by refusing to justify myself or blame others.
  5. Pray, asking God's help and His assessment. What led to my emotional upheaval? Had I harbored resentments, hatred; fostered faulty thought patterns, vanity, pride; felt threatened, exposed?
  6. Open my heart to acknowledge the truth that He has shown me and then ask His forgiveness and also the forgiveness of anyone else I may have wronged in thought, word, or deed. (I am not certain what the sacrifices of righteousness are but I hope that I have made a beginning).

MC

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