What makes you angry? How quickly do you get wound up and incensed about things? What do you do with all the anger?
We all get angry from time to time and for some people managing that is a real challenge. All too often we see the evidence of people lashing out and damaging other people’s property or damaging people themselves. Anger lies behind so much of our behaviour. We want to get even, get revenge sometimes. We end up getting bitter and fueling our anger even more. Angry people can be a toxic force.
But anger can be justified when it comes to righteous anger on behalf of those who have no voice of their own, when we see the marginalised treated badly and feel angry enough to want to do something about it. It can motivate us to leave situations of our own where we are being abused or ill treated.
Violence is never the answer. Chanelling our fury into action that helps others is what has brought about great change over the centuries. Turning that anger into a force for good can be liberating to us. Anger is a human emotion we can all experience, it isn’t wrong to be angry but what we do with it that counts.
Jesus understood anger and had strong words to say to those who oppressed others, who made a mockery of His Father’s house by turning it into a marketplace, who pretended to be something they were not. But He knew that the power of love could overcome the force of fury. That is why He could cry from the cross “Father forgive them, they know no what they do”
I’ve been angry many times, lashed out when I shouldn’t have, said things I bitterly regretted, even today I’ve experienced extreme rage. I sat down to write this simmering with barely suppressed fury. As I’ve written I realise that I need to calm down so I can sleep. I need to act in the opposite spirit and won’t achieve anything if I go in all guns blazing.
I have to be willing to forgive and use the right words to deal with the situation I’m in, not unleash a torrent of anger at some poor unsuspecting person tomorrow. Most importantly I need not let the sun go down on my anger otherwise I will likely say or do something I will regret.
I’ll keep you posted!