Real Anger Management God’s Way
by Harvey L. Diamond
Anger has long plagued the human race. We all deal with it differently. Some are direct, confrontational, aggressive and even violent; while others are more passive aggressive, using mental energy to avoid confrontation. Some get emotional and simply divert their energy from addressing anger and run from it; while still others exert their energy in social settings, keeping busy and maintaining a happy front. Inside, though, many are smoldering.
It starts with frustration. Things don’t go the way we like. We don’t get what we want or expect. Our pride gets shattered. We tolerate others and situations to be socially acceptable, but we mask our true feelings.
Some respond to anger by getting vengeful towards others; yet some people seek to simply reward themselves to find happiness. Some focus their attention on relieving themselves from pain of heart; while others get busy or involved in various activities.
No matter how we express ourselves outwardly, anger takes a toll internally. It eats at our soul. It strains our relationship with God, and will separate us from the presence of God, for God dwells in peaceful habitations.
That’s why the Scripture says so much about anger, and advises us against harboring anger, and seeking a remedy
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret -- it only causes harm.
The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger,
And his glory is to overlook a transgression.
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
Anger Hides its Face but Destroys the Soul
Growing up in New York, I saw anger everywhere. It was a way of life. At least people were honest about being angry.
In Texas, I learned how people camouflage anger. They conceal it to fit in socially, and not disqualify themselves. Then they drive their pickup trucks!
Displacing aggression can be healthy and allow you to avoid problems, but it still will separate you from God’s presence—from His real peace and joy. Eventually it will expose itself in a way that will hurt, cause loss, and harm others.
Ways we Disguise Anger
Some disguise anger by playing the victim card. They seek sympathy from others, and won’t take responsibility for their own behavior. They blame others for their problems and fall into self-pity. This eventually causes sorrow, for they lose their ability to receive genuine love and support from those who really care.
Some are good at venting and diverting their energies in constructive ways like, sports and fitness, business and social activities, or even politics and civic events. They are driven physically. Unfortunately, they often drive themselves to exhaustion and misery.
Others simply play a cold war with themselves and others. They live in a pretended state of peaceful coexistence, yet their hearts are froth with distrust, and their minds plagued with paranoia. They are free outwardly, but in real bondage inwardly.
The Fallout from Anger
There are no real winners in an environment steeped in anger. For, it breeds cynicism and distrust. People put up barriers and avoid real communication. In the heat of the battle, it leads to jealousy, resentment and betrayal. When one gives up caring or fighting, it leads to depression. It fosters unhealthy competition and greed, and also unforgiveness. Worst of all, anger keeps the hand and favor of God far from us.
The Solution for Anger
God has real answers and real solutions because He created us! Please believe me, this is not meant to be a cliché. With faith in His word and real solutions from the Holy Spirit, anger can be dealt with; and not managed—but cured. God’s Spirit can sever its roots and yank them out! He can bring real healing of heart. With it, comes peace and joy. I can testify.
Job can too. He lost all, then engaged with God and was restored with twice as much.
"Therefore I will not restrain my mouth;
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul."
Hezekiah, a king of Israel, also learned the value of engaging with God. He was sick and near death. Then he engaged with God in prayer. God healed him and extended his life.
"What shall I say?
He has both spoken to me,
And He Himself has done it.
I shall walk carefully all my years
In the bitterness of my soul.
O Lord, by these things men live;
And in all these things is the life of my spirit;
So You will restore me and make me live.
Indeed it was for my own peace
That I had great bitterness;
But You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption,
For You have cast all my sins behind Your back.
God truly is a redeemer! His promise to us is He will repay our confusion, hurt and the pain of our shame with double honor.
Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,
And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
Therefore in their land they shall possess double;
Everlasting joy shall be theirs.
It does, however, take humility and patience! For, His process will cut against the grain of our heart. Ask God to reveal to you why things that have caused you to be angry happened the way they did. Did He have a greater purpose? Ask for the grace to forgive those who may have hurt or offended you. Ask for the gift of mercy. See those who may have offended you as not knowing what they have done. Love heals and defers anger. Ask God for a strengthening view and new perspective for the future. Find gratefulness for what you have. Trust Him to fill your heart with joy and peace.