Monday, April 24, 2006

Why Are You So Angry?

Have you ever been so angry that you lost control? That you did or said something that you normally would not do? So angry that you are still paying the price for your thoughtless words or vindictive actions?

You're not alone. Everyone experiences anger at some point. It could be over something as simple as someone taking too much time ahead of you in the store. Someone cutting you off on the freeway. A marriage gone bad. A job that has become too stressful. A life that is simply overwhelming.

The bible is filled with examples of people who got angry - God hardened Pharaoh's heart as Moses sought the freedom of the Israelites. Pharaoh's anger (and stubbornness) led to plagues, adversity and death for his people.

Naaman, captain of the host of Syria, was almost doomed to a life of leprosy because of his anger. Naaman visited the prophet Elisha to seek a healing for his leprosy, but turned away in anger when he did not receive the response he desired. Only the intelligence of his servants saved him from the price of his foolish actions.

The Apostle Paul was filled with righteous anger towards the newly founded Christian sect. After Jesus's death, he sought to kill as many Christians as he could. A fateful encounter on the Damascus road finally caused him to see the error of his ways and allowed his heart to become open to the Savior.

Anger can be a very destructive emotion. Ephesians 4:6 admonishes us to 'Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath'. I believe sin follows so closely behind anger in this passage because God knew how easily destructive behavior follows the expression of anger. This is not necessarily an injunction to never get angry (Jesus used anger to great effect in ridding the temple of money changers), but not to allow anger to lead you into foolish acts.

Anger also has a negative impact on your mind, your emotions and your body's chemistry. An article in Psychology Today sums it up this way:

A strong emotion that is accompanied by arousal of the nervous system, anger produces effects throughout the body. It eats away at your cardiovascular system, your gut and hijacks nervous system, often obliterating the capacity for clear thinking.

And, despite conventional wisdom that it is a good idea to 'get it all out', it has been proven that the release of anger actually makes you feel worse, not better. But you already knew that, didn't you? Because you remember the last time you had an argument, got angry and said and did things that only made the situation or problem worse. In fact, you did not become less angry after the fight, but more angry. Not to mention your bruised feelings, sense of outrage and unfairness that you still feel when you think about it.

So what does the Bible say to do about anger? Don't give in to it and leave the revenge for God. Paul says in Romans 12 '17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.'

He ends this passage by saying '21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.'

So go forth today and instead of becoming angry, be glad - knowing that the Lord will fight your battles and avenge any wrong done to you. And repay evil with good. But, whatever you do - don't let anger get the best of you!

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T.H. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
T.H. said...

This is a very good article. It is very solid and complete. Keep up the good work!

mmog37 said...

Well said...

I use Proverbs 29:11 to keep my anger in check..."A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control."

...not trying to be anybody's fool LOL

Blackhoney said...

That is a great article Sonya... I shall pass it around :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments! T.H. - I'm loving your new blog. Yeah, higher, I'm with you - I am not trying to be anybody's fool either! Shawna - good to see you around! I know you've been busy with Cocoa Lounge, so thank you for stopping by.