Did you know that being angry isn’t a sin? Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath.”
You can experience anger, but what you do with that anger is what makes it okay or not. Interesting right? I’ve had a really bad habit all of my life of pressing the anger down deep inside. I don’t like to feel negative feelings, so anytime I would get mad at something I would just bottle it up. And in my mind, that was great! I wouldn’t be saying something I couldn’t take back and I wouldn’t be doing anything I regret because I just stuffed it down and didn’t feel it.
But you know what happens when you stuff down anger instead of dealing with it?
What a gross, but appropriate, word. It becomes infected with resentment, bitterness, judgement, and it can turn into rage. All of a sudden it can explode from the tiniest little nudge. And you’re sitting there wondering where it came from as you examine the wreckage.
It took me a long, long time to realize that what I saw as a good thing was actually the worst thing. When my husband, Mike, and I first got married I really leaned into the stuffing the anger down. I thought it made me a “good” wife to not bring up these things that bothered me. But each wound was left untreated and they got so infected with resentment that when I look back I’m amazed that we survived that first year of marriage.
Bitterness, resentment and judgment change the way you look at people. You no longer see them as children of God who He loves unconditionally and made in His own image. You start seeing people as obstacles, blocking the way to your own happiness.
So what can we do when we feel angry?
A few deep breaths, a few steps back and a few prayers to help you see the offended person through God’s eyes mean a world of change. Realizing that God knows the other person inside and out, that He sees the depths of their soul and He STILL loves them unconditionally, makes it easier for us to love them too. Especially because we know that God loves and forgives us even though He knows all of our ick, too.
I’ve had to train myself to be okay to feel the anger. I’ve learned that in those really uncomfortable moments, God is doing the most work on us and our hearts. If you let Him work through those, He can transform you into someone who looks more like Him.
Midday Show Host, STAR 99.1