Don’t Let Anger Take Over Your Life
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. (James 1:19-20)
I recently received a note in the mail from someone asking for information and help with a spouse who has rage. Anger is not an easy thing to deal with both for the one who suffers from it and the one who is on the receiving end of it. But there is something we should never forget…we serve a great and powerful God who can heal and restore anyone. No problem is to big or too small for God, but we must believe He will do this even when the situation looks bad or seems to be getting worse. Never lose hope! He healed my family and He can heal yours! In order to get through this, you must understand anger and the situation surrounding it.
If you’ve ever watched a fire begin, it only needs a spark, then it slowly burns until it’s completely engulfed in flames. This is how anger works. It starts with a spark but doesn’t die completely. It slowly burns until you are engulfed with anger. Anger can stay within us for many years, always on a slow boil and never knowing when it will flare up. We see this with house fires. Often it looks as though the fire is out, but after a while as it continues to smolder, it flares up again and catches fire and the fire department has to come back and put out the flames. Often anger is from unresolved issues and frustration over not being able to resolve them. It can also stem from unforgivness, anger and hurt over something done to us or said to us as far back as childhood. If we can’t forgive, we remain angry over what someone has said or done. Soon we continue stuffing down the angry thoughts and unresolved issues and go from one problem to another. Through angry eyes we never see a solution, just the problem. We never see the good, just the bad. That’s why we are told to take captive every thought:
2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
When we take captive our thoughts it means we are not allowing our negative thoughts to control us. We are taking it captive and making it obedient to Christ. Sometimes we have spouses or children who suffer from anger and rage and are argumentative. It can be hard to deal with and can, if allowed, hold us in the same bondage as it holds them. How do we handle such situations? First and foremost, we must pray for that person on a daily basis for God to deliver them of their anger and heal them. We have to remember that the anger is a symptom of a deeper problem and getting to the root of that problem will help greatly. Next we pray for ourselves that God will give us the patience and understanding of what the other person is going through. That He will allow us to see past the surface of that person for a better understanding of why they are the way they are. Next, you follow the scriptures and do what it says:
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
If we respond in anger, we will continue to receive anger. If we respond gently, we will turn away that anger. This is where much prayer and at times, fasting, will come into play because we are human and have emotions and can only be patient for so long. We must go behind the scenes and pray for the person, the situation and ourselves. Don’t engage in the battle but rather disengage from the battle with that person. There is nothing the enemy wants to see more than division amongst people, especially Christians and families. We can’t give authority to the enemy in our marriage or family through anger. We must take captive the angry thoughts and make them obedient to Christ. If we don’t, we will just continue going round and round and that’s not something God wants us to do. Sometimes you have to step away and go and pray. Prayer is your strongest weapon against any situation. God is a great listener and always willing to help but we have to call out to Him first.
Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away anger.
Do not instigate, mock, or be sarcastic with the person arguing with you as it will only do more harm than good. They have legitimate issues and need to be heard. However, some people are so filled with anger, you can’t reason with them especially when they are angry. If it’s possible, talk with them when they are not angry.
The Bible talks about receiving wise counsel. Seek out a Christian counselor, a Pastor/Priest, or group that deals with anger or whatever the problem is. Talking it out always helps and wise advice is given. There are some issues that can’t be dealt with alone. If the person who has anger won’t go, then the spouse and/or children should go as they will need support and advice. Children need to talk out their fears and concerns regarding the parent who has the anger issues.
Most importantly, safety is a must. If the environment is an unhealthy one and/or a dangerous one, you may have to think about temporarily staying in a safer place or having the other person stay elsewhere until he/she receives help. This is a very hard thing to think about especially when you love that person and know they are hurting, but safety is always a must. One of the hardest things to do is watching the one you love suffer the consequences of their actions. Sometimes that’s what’s needed in order for a person to change. We can’t always cover their wrong doings or they will never learn from the situation and never change. Sometimes they have to lose something in order to gain something. If you are the person suffering with anger and bitterness, you have to realize you cannot do this alone. You must seek God and surrender every angry thought to Him. Ask Him to show you the root of your problem and to lead you to the right person or place for support and help. You must realize that your anger not only affects you but those around you and you have made your home a battle ground. Your family is not the enemy and once you realize this, you can begin to work on you. However, every situation is different and that’s why receiving counseling can help you sort things out. No one can meet your every need because when you are unhappy on the inside, nothing will satisfy you. Only God can fill that void and bring joy to your life. Only God can heal that heart and remove the bitterness from you but you have to seek Him first. I speak to you as one who has been there and know the pain. You don’t want to be this way but are at a point where you don’t know how to fix it. You can’t but God can. Trust in Him.
Never give up hope. We serve a God of hope! Sometimes our situations seem so bad it may feel like things will never change. The Bible is full of people who were in desperate situations, sometimes for years, but they continued to believe that God would rescue and heal them and He did. Keep your eyes focused on God and not the situation. When we focus on the situation, fear comes in and we can lose hope. But when we keep our eyes on God and have faith that He will help us, the situation can and will change. It may take time and you may seem like you are on a roller coaster of emotions, but you can find peace in the midst of the storm.
‘Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Jesus, thank you for your love and concern for my life. Lord, anger is ruining my life. I need your help, Lord, to heal from this situation. I pray for broken chains from anger and bitterness. Help me (or a loved one) to overcome anger and bitterness. Lord, I ask that you get to the root of the problem and remove the root. Lead me in the right direction. Bring safety and peace into my home. Help me to be more understanding and forgiving and to see past the surface of the people and situations I come across. Jesus, break my chains (or the chains of a loved one) and set me free! I ask it all in the name of Jesus…Amen