Jumping the Hurdle of Anger

Wishing I had these skills!
Wishing I had these skills!

Mamma Bear has been aroused, like interrupted from hibernation in the middle of winter. Angry. Frustrated. Disillusioned. Here’s the skinny: situations arise during this lifetime that make you angry. Angry because you cannot influence the decision. The issue is completely out of your control.

Now, you can react like I did. Mad. And yet, I only end up finding myself frustrated with myself.

I don’t like feeling this way.

I don’t like being upset, turning green like the Incredible Hulk. I know that in the end it is not a benefit to anyone to lose my cool.

We end up feeling upset, frustrated and mad when things do not turn out like we expected or planned.

We don’t like it when we are not in control. Injustices can cause us to unravel. For example, a child bites your baby girl on the playground for no reason, a teacher refuses to give your child an “A”, a coach doesn’t give your child adequate playing time, a boss overlooks you for a raise or a car cuts you off when you’re in a hurry. And what about a child who makes poor choices or a spouse who refuses to do what you want them to!

Anger can disguise itself in various ways.

In some it may smolder beneath the surface, seething like a smoke stake within.  In others, it displays with nagging and constant criticism.  It may come spewing out like a pot of hot water spilling over, leaving burn marks for words said in haste.  I’ve watched anger be hurled at innocent bystanders.  I guess that’s why my momma always said, “Hurting people hurt people.”  Anger is a natural response when things don’t go our way.  Hurts that have sat awhile, festering, can lead the way to anger. Just out of curiosity, what makes you blood boil?

This past week I really struggled with jumping over the hurdle of anger. (If only I had cousin Lindsay’s talent!) The hurdle sat in my room. I tried to ignore its presence, wishing it wasn’t there. I attempted sweeping it under the rug. I even tried jumping over it on my own, but at no avail. The hurdle occupied my thoughts and seemed to linger there. I had to take my anger to the cross and finally leave it there. Here is what God taught me:

No one likes the way they feel when they are angry.

Or how it causes them to lose control.  James 1:19-20 says this, “Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”  One of the greatest battles in life is to “put away anger.”  So, how can we get rid of anger?

  1. Remind yourself that you are a sinner too and would be nothing without Christ.  (Romans 3:23)
  2. Think of Jesus hanging on the cross.  He had every right to be angry, but He made a choice to forgive instead.  (I Peter 2:21)
  3. Be an example to others and take the first step towards reconciliation. (Ephesians 4:32)
  4. Don’t give Satan a foothold by hanging onto anger.  The more you obsess over what happened to you and all the reasons why you have a right to be angry, the more space you allow the Enemy to occupy in your heart.  (Ephesians 4:26-27)
  5. Ask yourself is it really that big of a deal?  Try to uncover why the situation is making you so mad.  (Proverbs 3:7-8)
  6. And finally, confess your sin to a trusted friend.  (James 5:16)
Let me ask you something today—Are you holding on to any anger? Is there someone who really makes you mad?

Maybe they’ve hurt you or made fun of you.  Or maybe it’s a parent or close friend that has wronged you and you are struggling with these feelings of resentment and bitterness.  Take some time and talk to God about it.  He doesn’t want you to harbor these feelings inside.  And I believe that despite all the bad things that have happened to you, Romans 8:28 promises us this, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Let’s close with a Big Amen to that!