Today we will continue with our series on "The Many Faces Of Anger". Our topic today is called "When Anger Becomes A Problem. Since we all have had times when we have felt and expressed anger for various reasons, there can come a time when our anger is no longer something we can control any longer and we know we have a problem. it is now out of control and trying to repress doesn't work any more. What do we do now?
Do not associate with a man given to anger, or go with a hot-tempered man, or you will learn his ways and find a snare for yourself. Proverbs 22:24-35
Definition of problem anger: Anger that is un-controllable putting others in undo danger/harm bringing shame upon ourselves and those around us.
Note: Out of control anger is associated with pain and fear. Anger is a tool that we can use to make us look and feel stronger than we really are. This gives us a false sense of security that will eventually be revealed.
What does problem anger ‘look like’?
◘ It points the finger at others (accuses). Do not accuse a man for no reason when he has done you no harm. Proverbs 3:30. If we feel anger it is probably related to a incident where something has been said or done to us that has hurt us in some way. Sometimes, bouts of anger can come from us just not 'getting our own way'. In this case our anger is rooted in our own self-centerered=ness and pride.
Because anger can be related to hurtful situations it is easy to point the finger at those who have let us down or hurt us in some way and put all the blame on them for our actions and behaviors. We must remember, most of the time we are not totally innocent and free from any wrong doing as well, and we need to examine our own hearts for any wrong doing we have done to them.
◘ It refuses to be reasoned with (stubbornness)..It is easy to point the finger at others, but refusing to look into our own hearts will set us up for a root of stubbornness and rebellion to be birthed. This is a sin issue before God and will need to be addressed with Him. This stubbornness is driven by an underlying unforgiveness toward others.
◘ Its explosive and easily triggered...When we have let our anger get to this stage, we are now capable of physically harming someone else. Explosive anger is very dangerous and is the driving force in many domestic situations.
It is anger that has been building up over a long time and is easily triggered. People feel like in these situations that they have to walk on egg sheels keeping the person as calm as possible so they don't loose their temper.
◘ It runs a person’s life and needs to have the final word...Anger can be used as a effective controlling tool. The person that needs to be in control 'to have things always going their way' or 'to have the last say' is a 'insecure person'.
A insecure person fears conflict of any kind and has a fear of not being pleasing to others. They have low self esteem and fear loss. Because of these insecurities it is difficult for a person to address to issues with others properly for fear of rejection and loss.
If we see that anger can bring about the same results we want from others without us having to expose our own issues, it then becomes an unhealthy tool we can use to get our way. This or course is wrong and we need to work through our insecurities, value and worth for this to be resolved in our lives .
◘ It is resistant to authority...Anger gives us a false sense of insecurity , but we think we are in control and it feels good. Anger that we are willingly hanging onto will be resistant to authority and not want to do what we are told to do. Not only will this attitude get us in trouble with human authority but this same resistance and attitude will also show itself with how we view God's authority in our lives. If we are resistant with human authority we will also resist the work of God in our own lives.
◘ There is distance with others emotionally and physically...Anger drives us away from others and keeps them away from us. In other words, anger breaks down relationships. it keeps us isolated and alone driving us away from everyone and from God. This is dangerous as it takes us down a path of depression and despair.
◘ There is a resistance to forgive others...Problem anger does not want to 'forgive' others for any wrong doing they have done. Ephesians 4:31-32 says, Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander,along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
◘ There is a hardness of heart toward others and God...Ephesians 4:18 says, They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God; because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
Letting our hearts become hard is dangerous and if we continue to harden our hearts and not let God soften it and heal us, we run the risk of only becoming more hardened with time. We need to deal with our unforgiveness and let God once again soften us and forgive us.
We will stop here for today and continue next week with "How anger affects us spiritually". thanks for tuning in see you next week.
Some things to ponder:
1. Are you aware of others feelings that may come with anger, such as pain and hurt?
2. Do you feel distance between you and those you love? Is anger a part of the distance?