|Cindy couldn’t take it any more. Her boss constantly demeaned her. |
She was nice to him. Cindy broke down today and exploded on him with
all kinds of vulgarities. She felt terrible afterwards. People call Bill a
“hothead.” He radiates anger every where he goes. He is mean. Bill
grumbles in the grocery store checkout line, the movie theater, and the
doctor’s office. Last week the police handcuffed Bill and took him to jail
after a road rage incident. He ran a person off the road who accidentally
pulled in front of him. Sam lost his temper last night with his five year-old
daughter, Becky. He yelled at her for dropping her plate at the dinner table.
She left the room in tears – another family dinner was ruined. Paul is a
meticulous. mild-mannered guy who seems friendly, but is seething with
anger on the inside. He does nut handle frustrations well. You wouldn’t
know it by his actions, but he is consumed with anger. He is constantly
preoccupied with violence, thinks negative self-defeating thoughts, and is
depressed. He has an ulcer too.
Anger is a complex subject. There are many definitions, expressions, types,
sources, and causes of anger. The few scenarios described above happen
every day all over the world. Some people say that anger is not bad and
should be expressed, while others think anger is a destructive force that
should be avoided at all costs. Counseling offices, prisons, divorce courts,
pastors’ offices, psychiatric hospitals, and juvenile detention centers are
filled with angry people. Anger is the number one cause of damaged
marriages, abused children, and violence in the home, school. and work-
place. Anger is an emotional response which usually results from a frustra-
tion or blocked need. l t can be explosive or expressed more subtly as in
irritability and cynicism. Anger may act as an alarm, especially when some-
one pushes your “button” of guilt, or pain from unresolved hurts.
“I’m mad too Eddie!”
I remember the bumper stickers several years ago rhar said ‘Tm mad roo
Eddie.” Everyone rallied f,ir Eddie. We live in an angry society. People are
ready t,> unload. Unfortunately, many people ro.lav snuggle with anger.
They have issues. Unresolved anger can lead tu serious problems. People
murder in fits of rage. Anger can lead to health problems, Some people
erupt like volcanoes, while others are like smoldering fires with their
anger, hot and ready to ignite. We really have a problem when we have a
whole society with anger issues! So many people arc just waiting to jump
on the “bandwagon” over some’ issue or situation. They are ready to be
“mad too Eddie.” Sometime, it’s easier to be angry than ro feel the pain or
work through problems. Most people du not have lingering, unrcsolved
anger. Many people do. Anger is a normal reaction when you have been
attacked. or threatened, especially by terrorists. I am not referring w that
type of anger.
The Problem with Anger
There are different types of anger. People get: mad for different reasons.
Sources of anger include: feelings ,if helplessness or powerlessness in
having certain goals or desires thwarted; when a person does not experien-
ce love; when there is harshness in rclnn.mships. fear as the base of anger;
violation of a covenant, and low self-esteem.
Anger doesn’t just happen. Certain thoughts and perceptions precede
angry outbursts. The same situation may affect two people differently.
The difference lies in their interpretation of perceived threat, loss, or
injury. For example, I may not: he bothered by someone interrupting my
conversation with John, but Fred may feel totally violated and considerably annoyed. Fred gets angry and responds rudely.
He may have a family history of interruptions and patterns of retaliation.
Fred’s tolerance level is much less than mine. Fred could have some
unresolved anger related to feeling controlled. Anger is good when it is
expressed appropriately and motivates people to resolve problems. Anger
expressed negatively. harshly, or violently is bad. This type of anger creates
more problems than solutions. Trust may be reduced or lost. Personal
effectiveness is diminished and relationships with others are damaged or
destroyed. Anger in the work place can lead to strained relationships
lowered productivity, and sometimes violence. Inappropriarc, uncontrolled, or repressed anger can
generate serious problems physically, mentally. and spiritually. Resentment
and anger dims our spiritual vision. Anger can turn rn a depressed,
defeated spirit. Anger can give Satan a foothold, especially with unforgive-
ness (II Cor. 2: 10- ll). Anger can hinder prayer (] Tim. 2:S). Anger can also
numb or block us from experiencing God’s love. It hinders our relationship
with God. Sinful anger controls us and hurts others. Anger becomes destruct-
tive when we hold grudµes or resentments roward people. Ir occurs when
we harbor unforgiveness. Sinful anger is self-righteousness and the to oppo-
site of Godly righteous anger.
Healthy anger occurs when a person uses their anger to settle matters
productively. Assertive people look for alternatives. Assertive anger helps
others. Ir cares ,1bllut: the urher person. It values forgiveness. Aggressive
anger punishes others, it’s demanding, judgmental, and condemning.
Aggressive anger usually has high expectations of people, is self-centered,
and fails to see it’s own weakness. Assertive people use their anger to
accomplish a positive outcome. It: is anger without “an attitude”. Healthy
anger builds people up, restores trust, and solves problems. Healthy anger
does no harm, it glorifies God.
Resolution involves working through anger issues. lt goes beyond anger
management. Resolution deals with root causes of anger. Unresolved hurts
can predispose people to have problems with anger. They react angrily to
frustrations. Resolution enables people t, i move beyond their pain and
hurts. Anger resolution provides understanding and healing. Some people
inherit anger from their parents. Bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, and critical demeanor gets passed on from one generation to the next. Some are addicted to anger. They are hooked on the
adrenaline rush they experience when they go into rage. Deep healing and
resolution from unresolved hurts comes from Christ. Counseling centered on Him enables people to work
through their hurts, move toward to forgiveness, grieve, heal, and let go.
Complete resolution involves forgiving the other person and yourself 100%. True forgiveness is supernatural – without God it is True forgiveness is supernatural – without God it is impossible to really
Jesus cleared the temple (Luke 19:45-46). He was angry because the people
where selling in a place of worship. This is righteous anger. He was mad
because the people violated a covenant with God. The Bible is clear about
anger. We are to be angry but not sin (Ephes. 4:26). We are also supposed
to resolve anger before the day is done. “Don’t let the sun go down on your
anger.(Ephes. -H 1- 3 2 ). God’s Word says allot about sin and blowing up.
Proverbs arc full of statements illustrating the consequences of uncon-
trolled anger (Prov. 14:29. 15:18, 19:19, 25:28, 29:11, 29:22). We are warned
against associating with people given to anger, that we may become like
them (Prov, 22:24,25). We are encouraged to restrain our anger, to overlook
offenses (Prov. 19: 11 ). James reminds us to be quick to hear, slow to speak,
and slow to anger (James l: 19, 20). Biblical anger does not harm, it states the injustice and restores relationships. The ultimate goal is resolution and reconciliation.
1. It’s impossible to live this life without getting angry over someone or
something. Everyone gets angry from time to time. There are ways
to manage anger.
2. Admit anger. Don’t deny it. Face it. Avoid an angrv mindset.
3. Express it calmly. Get your point: across. Do not explode. React slowly.
4. Look for the triggers. Watch for those things that upset you.
5. Deal with anger before you get angry.
6. Get more information before you respond.
7. Become aware of displaced anger.
8. Evaluate your angry feelings. Consider the sources of your anger.
9. Remember anger is a choice. You make you angry. Ir’s your response.
10. Diffuse the time bomb of anger.
11. Don’t put off expressing what you feel for long periods , for a long time.
12. Do nor withdraw into silence.
13. Be open to criticism.
14. Deal with your anger verbally.
15. Learn to discipline your mind.
16. Learn to express your expectations verbally. Learn self-control.
17. Walk away, cool down, and come back later. 17.Walk
18. Don’t accuse or attack the other person. Use I statements.
19. Attack the problem not: the person. Be solution oriented.
20. Redirect anger from within toward the problem.
21. Learn to hold your temper, be slow tu anger. Count to 50.
22. State your hurt or complaints as objectively as possible.
23. After ynu recognize and admit you are angry, you must decide to
24. Focus on humility, confession, and forgiveness.
25. Remind yourself that God is in control.
26. Ask yourself, what would Jesus do?
27. Plan ahead. Control the tongue (James 3:2-18).
Choose how you will respond.
28. Consider seeking counsel from a wise friend, pastor, or counselor.
29. Be honest about how you foe!
30. Rebuke in love. For a loving purpose. In a loving manner.
31. Seek the heir of God in prayer the moment of temptation.
32. Monitor feelings, thoughts, reactions. Seek to live a Godly life.
33. You can choose to say no to angry feelings. This cannot be done on your own.
34. Jesus must be a controlling force in your lite (Charle, Stanley. 1997).
Angry reactions can be prevented too. Make decisions in advance about
how you will handle certain situations coming up chat could make you
angry. Relax, weigh the consequences. Avoid anger arousing situations.
Learn to confront in love.
Bad things happen all the rime. We will never be totally fret: from anger-
provoking situations in this lite. People will lie, cheat, disappoint, frustrate and inconvenience us. \Y./c will get angry. Do we let our anger control us? Anger is a choice (Lahaye/Philltps 1982). We don’t
have to live in bondage to anger and untorgiveness. We can seek God for
His help in handling troubling situations. His way works! Lay your troubles
before God. Freedom and peace in Christ come when we surrender our
anger to Him. Freedom from anger comes when we forgive as we have
been forgiven by Christ. Let God help you with the process of forgiveness.
You don’t have to carry the anger. The more we see others through God’s
eyes, by abiding in Him, the more free we are to love. This is the way we
keep the sun from going down on our anger. This is freedom!