Is anger keeping you awake at night? Are you saddened about something that has upset you and you have absolutely no control over? Are you angry and looking for ways to address the situation or worse, get revenge?
I’ve struggled with anger for most of my life. I can be overjoyed, dancing around and laughing and just as quickly something can upset me. Now, I’ve matured and today I’m able to continue as though nothing occurred, but, oh, there was a time, there was a completely different time.
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Ephesians 4:26
What I Used To Do!
As a child and teenager, most people heard me before they saw me, as long as my mother or grandmother wasn’t around. When someone upset me I lashed out verbally and sometimes physically. Everyone needed to know that I was upset. My feelings lay on my shoulders so that the world could easily see them. I can still hear my mother saying to me, “your mouth is going to get you in trouble”. Her warning, unheeded, would cause me to listen years later, and after several terrible situations and the consequences thereof.
I grew up, some, and I learned to consider how I should act out when someone disrespected me or someone I cared for. Yes, I would go to bat for anybody. I’m so glad I started growing up, if not, I’d probably being doing something other than writing this today. I learned the hard way through loss of lots of relationships that there had to be another way to deal with my anger.
One thing that I learned was that everyone will not change because of me. No matter how I responded to people who hurt me, some people were not going to change because of how I acted. This was a painful lesson. The way that I grew up I was certain that a good beating or tongue lashing was enough to destroy the lion in anyone. WRONG! While it worked for some, it was some people closest to me that it would not work for at all. Imagine all of your time and energy trying to destroy someone who upset you and for them to turn around and disrespect you the next day or over and over again!
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12
This drove me into an unnoticeable depression. My self-esteem dwindled as I lived knowing that I couldn’t be the old me and no matter what I did, disrespect seemed to continue. I can’t explain the thoughts that ran through my mind on an everyday basis. I decided I would remove myself from the situation.
Of Course I Prayed!
I moved, yes, no more angry days! This is what I thought. I was still angry that I had to move. Still upset that “my” life had to change. Upset that my new life was hard. Worst of all, absolutely angry that I still had to interact with the same people who made me angry. You know me, so you may be asking, “Did you pray about it? What did God say about your situation? Did you leave it at God’s feet so that you could live the joyous life that He intended for you to live?” My answers are, “yes”, “I don’t know because I wasn’t listening”, “I didn’t know how to and was too angry to get there”.
Jesus said: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
Now I was stuck, trying to be happy, but at the same time, depressed and angry. I would get angry at God and everyone else. It’s the sad, sad truth. I continued to struggle, pray and live mildly happy, get angry and depressed, then struggle again and again. I lived on this roller coaster for years until I decided to trust God and break free. I was so fearful of walking away and losing any more relationships that I didn’t realize I was holding on to what was keeping me down. It took a long time for me to understand this.
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 John 1:2
Freedom At Last!
I learned that it isn’t God’s desire for me to live angry. We know it’s not God’s desire for us to be depressed. The Bible instructs me to be angry and sin not! That means that I will get angry about things, but I’m not supposed to allow anger to rob me of the life that God has given me. A life where God wants me to prosper, even as my soul prospers. An abundant life of joy, love, happiness and peace is given to me as a gift from God. I was living a life of conflict. I knew what God gave me and I kept choosing to interact and hold on to anger. I became comfortable with being horribly uncomfortable. Oh, to live a life of freedom!
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1
What About Now?
Now I still struggle with anger, but only with those closest to me. I am constantly reminding myself that my life can’t be lived to its fullest while walking around angry all day. I’m now reminding myself to walk away and pray. It took me so long to get here. I’ll admit that there are times when my mouth still gets in the way and its more times than I’d like, but I’m learning and growing each and everyday.
How About You?
How do you deal with anger? What can you do to help you deal with the frustration that anger brings? How do you prevent it from destroying your life?