Faith & Life: Feeling Angry is Okay


Two young women in an argument
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Feeling Angry is Okay

Just Don’t Stagnate in It

by J.M. Troppello


Anger is a valid emotion. However, it can be dangerous. Reacting negatively in your anger can bring bad results such as stress on your relationships and on your physical body. Dwelling in anger can negatively impact your mental and spiritual health as well.


12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” (Matthew 21:12-13, NKJV)

Jesus got angry that people had turned His house into a ‘den of thieves’ when it was meant to be a ‘house of prayer.’ He dealt with the anger (His was a righteous anger – rather than how we can many times act in fleshly anger), and then didn’t dwell in it. He moved on with His mission.


Consider the following five ways that you can feel your anger but not allow yourself to stagnate in it.


1. Step Back


Take a breath. Step back and don’t react rashly or harshly in your anger. Accept your feelings of anger, but don’t act on your anger.


26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. (Eph. 4:26-31, NKJV)

Yes, it can be very difficult to not act in anger. I used to have an anger problem. God dealt with me and healed me of this issue. Yes, I backslide every now and then. But, for the most part, my emotional and spiritual growth has helped me respond maturely rather than react immaturely. It took a lot of hard work. Yet, it was worth it to be more rational in my reactions now.


2. Arrow Prayer


Pray short prayers (arrow prayers) in the moment for God to help you not sin in your anger. Try to shift your focus from the intense feelings of anger—and the object of your anger—to praising God. Again, this can be extremely difficult. I know that from experience. However, you need to cry out to God in the moment to help you. Walk away and pray.


3. Consistent Prayer


Develop your relationship with God. Pray consistently. Ask God to open your eyes to see your emotional and spiritual strengths and weaknesses. Pray for Him to help you, especially if you have anger issues like I had. Developing that continual communication with God can help you to turn to Him (with those arrow prayers) more automatically in the moment of emotional distress and anger. If you haven’t been developing your prayer life with Him, it will likely be more difficult to turn to Him in the moments when you really need His help.


4. Memorize God’s Word


Embrace the power of God’s Word. Memorize verses that can help you with anger issues. Trust that the Holy Spirit will remind you of the right verses that you need to be reminded of in the moment of need. Memorizing God’s Word can become an invaluable tool to help you be ready when any temptations come (such as the temptation to act out in your anger)—because the Holy Spirit will remind you of the verses that you’ve memorized. The Holy Spirit can still help you in the moment. However, if you haven’t been preparing and memorizing God’s Word, there is no ‘knowledge base’ in your mind to be tapped into.


5. Be Mindful


Practice mindfulness. Learn to live in the moment. Realize that life is too short to dwell continually in anger and offense. Ask God to help you become a better person, not a bitter one from all of life’s experiences. Learn how to be still before God and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10, paraphrased). He can help you through anything. You simply need to communicate with Him and ask Him for help.


Don’t Dwell in Your Anger


I love the first part of Ephesians 4:26. “Be angry and do not sin.” Wow! Sounds so simple. I know from firsthand experience that complying with those words is not easy. The second part of that verse has always resonated with me too. “Do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” As I’ve grown spiritually in my walk with the Lord and developed emotionally, I’ve learned that it’s best not to go to bed angry. Even in those moments when I’ve had to walk away, I’ve always tried to reconnect with that person before the day was over to reconcile. That hasn’t always been possible, but then I’d try to reconnect the next day. I didn’t want animosity to fester.


  • Step back

  • Arrow prayer

  • Consistent prayer

  • Memorize God’s Word

  • Be Mindful


Use these five basic steps to help yourself feel – and properly process your anger – but not to dwell in it and act in sin. Become better, not bitter.



Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on Medium.com.

 

About the Author


JM Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.


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