I recently had a situation that vividly reminded me about how powerful the emotion of anger is.
Anger is a feeling. Its a warning. Maybe something isn’t right. Maybe we’ve been hurt. Maybe we’ve been wronged by injustice. Maybe it’s only perceived – or real (that may need higher wisdom)..
Maybe something needs to change. Maybe someone needs to be held accountable. Maybe action needs to be taken BUT anger in and of itself is not “bad”. It’s not even a “sin” or what Scripture defines as such.
Ephesians 4:26-27 (NIV) states, “In your anger do not sin” (see Psalm 4:4): Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a a foothold.
What we do with the feeling – now that’s all about the action. But – this is where things can get messy. It doesn’t have to, though.
We get to choose. That’s not being a victim. Do nothing. Do something. We do have power in how we choose – in what we do; we are not victims unless we choose to be.
Even saying “I’m going to choose to do nothing right now”, is still a form of action. Say it out loud. It matters. Journal entry it. It is important to remember we get to make choices of how we respond to things that can cause us to feel angry.
Respond in a way that if you put your thoughts in writing, and they were your thoughts spattered on the front page of the most widely read newspaper in the world (or your community), you’d still write them again any other day. Respond verbally in a way that you would want to be responded to if the shoe were on the other foot. Respond in actions, that do not cause living tissue or property damage of any kind. This will save you regret and grief after the emotions have subsided. It is respectful action.
Breathe. Vent first. Vent to God – He’s listening anyway so be real. Talk to loved ones (if they are safe). Get with a professional if need be. Then get to it.
We are not victims. We are victors. What can you do about the cause of this emotion? There is something. Find out what it is, then prepare to let it go.
Yes, let it go. After you’ve addressed, vented, made the choice, took the action – when you’ve done all you can do, let. it. go. That doesn’t mean forget it. That doesn’t mean we are doormats. That doesn’t mean acting in unhealthy ways or accepting unacceptable behavior from others. It means, we say what we mean, we mean what we say, and we are not mean when we say it. That’s the respect for self and others. It also means we do not have the control we may think or wish we do. We did not create the universe. People have freewill to do as they choose and sometimes this means when we ask for what we want and need – and notice what we get – we then choose to celebrate the “no” (even when we don’t want to) because we can’t control how other people respond to our requests either.
The Serenity Prayer says it so well but since I’ve already said plenty here, I’ll just post the prayer on an image; the author is given credit, I merely created the image on Canva.com from one of my many Topsail Beach photos =).
I promise, there is peace to be had when we process anger in this way. And we do need to process because if we don’t it will come out eventually and not always in an appropriate way. It is a valid feeling just like happiness or sadness is. All of our feelings make up who we are and are valid; just like each of us. ❤