Can you remember a time when you got really angry with somebody? Has it happened lately? The truth is we all get angry at times. Even Jesus got angry. In fact there are a couple well-documented times where Jesus showed some real righteous anger. Don’t let anyone tell you it is “unChristian” to be angry. Anger is an emotion that is part of being human. However, generic troche there are appropriate and inappropriate ways to deal with anger.
How do we deal appropriately with anger? The Apostle Paul has this advice: “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, buy as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘it is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink….’ ” [Romans 12:17-21]
That’s really challenging advice. It goes against human nature to be kind to those who intentionally wrong us. But we must deal with our anger issues, and I want to offer some advice on how to deal with our anger appropriately based on this scripture from Romans.
A. Express it. Here are four simple techniques that can help you express anger appropriately:
- Pause: Don’t respond to the emotions of the moment.
- Think: Try to understand the situation from the other person’s point of view.
- Respond: Face the situation in a positive manner by communicating your feelings very clearly. Remember to make your comments about the problem not the person.
- Relax: Don’t take life too seriously.
If your anger motivates you to seek revenge – that’s inappropriate. Our natural instinct is to seek retaliation against those who have wronged us. But retaliation never works, and only causes the anger to grow stronger. Don’t allow your anger to cause you to seek revenge or retaliation.
Don’t Depress it.
The best way to deal with anger is to confront the problem. Don’t make the excuse that it really didn’t bother you and just try to get over it. Often times when we depress our anger we end up nursing feelings of bitterness and resentment. Bitterness breeds more bitterness and resentment only leads to more resentment. When these two powerful emotions go unresolved, they can eat at your heart and soul for years.
Christian counselor, Dr. David Seamands, says depression is anger turned inward. There are many people today who feel defeated and trapped by life. At times they may feel heavy loads of anger within that they’ve never realized they had. Don’t depress anger because it can cause depression in you.
Learning to express anger in appropriate ways will make you a happier, more productive person, and you’ll be putting your faith into action.