Monday, June 1, 2009

Saint, What Do You Do With Your Anger?

"I'm not angry, I'm hurt," a young woman confides to me.

"What if hurt is anger turned inward?" I ask her.

Shock fills her face; and a flash of "maybe" shows in her eyes as I share, "Unmet needs are usually felt in hurt, offense, or anger. Let's look at your unmet needs. We will pray for God to show us reality: true need as opposed to wants or perceived needs."
I know this "place" myself and I've ministered to many folks with ruptured relationship problems. I've begun to research misused anger and poor physical and emotional health. I am feeling a strong drawing to write about anger and Christians. Recently I think I "got it."

Ephesians 4:26 (NKJV) "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

I've been afraid to dare to truly own my anger most of my life. I rationalized away true anger and came up with comfortable emotions for a Bible-believing-baptized-church member-leader. In this complex dodge of my true feelings I've overeaten, needlessly shopped, developed depression with repressed anger and missed what God intended totally.

I've decided to explore how we can please Father God honestly when anger erupts in our emotions. You blog readers are my first line of investigation of viewpoints and experiences on obeying God "to be angry" and not sinning. The greek word for "sin" is to miss the mark. Could we be missing the mark in our denial of the God given emotion of anger?

I'll start this sharing with why I may have been afraid to "be angry." In my early childhood home my dad was a violent alcoholic. Finally this spiraled into destroying our home. My mom had emotional breakdowns. She was left emotionally crippled and at home she had a short fuse when it was just the two of us at home. I have feared emulating either one of them and going "postal" with no control...."just give me another piece of cake," or "I'll take a nap," or "I need to shop a while." I think I've sinned trying not to be angry.

I'm writing a book on BE Angry....I truly need your viewpoint. Speak up, please.

Talk to me about your anger.........or your avoidance of your anger.


Chatty Kelly said...

Angry? Me? NOOOO! I'm the good girl. I would never get angry. Until finally some stupid thing is the straw that breaks the camels back and I'm yelling over the most ignorant of things leaving people wondering "why would she be angry about THAT?!??" Of course, I'm not. I'm angry about 100 other things I never responded too. But "THAT" little thing is the thing that pushes me over the edge. *sigh*

Nicole said...

I am so glad that you are writing about this. Since I have been married, which has been six years yesterday, I have saw lots of anger swell up inside of me and be spewed out. When this happens I know that I am sinning, but I don't want to repress it and deny what I am feeling. So, I explode. Usually on my husband. He gets the brunt. Poor guy. :(

Anyways, I remember growing up with a dad who exploded with anger quit a few times, and it was always known that dad has "anger problem". So, be careful what you tell him etc.... So, when I get angry like this I think of my dad, and wonder what the deal is. Did I pick this up from him. Is this generational etc. I used to feel really guilty about it, but I know that's truly how I am feeling and I have been asking God lately to help me with this. I want the root of the issue to be dug up, so the anger can be solved.

I like how you wrote at the beginning about asking the lady you counseled about anger being hurt turned inward. Hmmmm, that really got me thinking. Today, when I got angry with my husband, I think it was because I was hurt. It's his bday today and I feel like no matter what I do to make his day special it's never enough. So, what do I do, I get angry. Well, I know it's because I'm hurt, and I can't MAKE him respond in the way that I want him to.

Have I said I am SO glad you are writing about this??? I am so excited to glean from the wisdom that God has showed you. Be blessed my dear friend!!!

Love in Him,

Nicole said...

I wanted to add...praying for you right now as you seek the Father about this issue.

Kay Martin said...

Kay responds....
Kelly and Nicole, I thank you. I had an incident come up in my work a few weeks ago and I was angry; and I felt it, processed it, was blessed by its fire and I did not sin. The person who so angered me has become close and important to me professionally and personally.

You both encouraged me. I need the Truth on anger. Where this pursuit goes beyond that is Father God's business. But I know there are many of us unclear on how to live out this Biblical and psychological truth.

Dorothy Champagne said...

I think many of us see how once we get angry it's so easy to roll that into sin and we don't know where the line ends. Like Kelly said, we hold it in and hold it in - possibly because of this fear - only to have it completely burst out over the smallest things. Where is the line - where does it stop. Jesus turned over the tables after He was angered - and that wasn't sin - so when is it sin? I'm very curious to see where this goes...

Red Letter Believers said...

I have a person in my life who I recognize anger in, but she says she isnt angry, she's "not happy" or "disappointed in me" or "discouraged by my actions."

Anger is anger and appreciate you calling it what it is!

© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.