Discovering the Source of Anger
"'Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath..." -Ephesians 4:6
Things happen in life that are bound to provoke us to anger. There are parts of life that are not fair, and there are people who may drive us crazy. Consequently, at some point of time we will be dealing with anger. Anger is not wrong; anger is a part of life. Jesus was angry. He was angry that the Pharisees began selling in the temple. His anger was righteous anger (some may call it jealousy) that the priests turned a house of worship into a house of greed. (John 2:13-17)
When we are angry a lot, or when we become angry in the same type of situation, we'll know there's something more to our anger, something that we may need to resolve. We'll need to check under the hood, as our emotional engine is overheating.
We may be angry due to an injustice or due to bitterness and unresolved hurt. Whatever it is, we need to be cautious that we deal with what is causing the anger, and not let it go unresolved. Some of anger's effects are fatigue, rage, and depression. We can easily hurt or isolate ourselves from others if we let our anger get out of control. "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." -Proverbs 15:1 Anger is always a secondary emotion. Rarely do people who become angry get to the source of true thing that needs to be dealt with. But, effectively resolving these emotions results in more freedom and peace in our daily lives. God tells us to resolve our anger -- because He knows we will experience more freedom as a result. (Ephesians 4:25-27)
I know someone who used to have lots of anger. She became angry when she felt like too many expectations were being placed upon her. She grew up in a home with a performance-based mindset, that is, love and acceptance was based on her ability to achieve or believe certain things. As a result, she felt that she would only be loved and accepted for what she did. As a teenager she was really depressed and angry at herself but didn't know why. Later in life she realized she had to forgive her parents for placing so many expectations upon her and and she had to give herself the grace to try and perhaps fail without feeling like it was the end of the world. She also had to learn to set realistic expectations to set herself up for success.
Do you struggle with anger? Pray that God would help you discover the source of that anger and resolve it, so that you can experience more of His joy, freedom, and peace.
Related resource: If God Is in Control Then Why...? by Craig Hill