Don’t silence your anger

Over the past few weeks I have been battling spells of anger. I remember standing in line at the Video Store for 20 minutes and in my head I was saying to myself “What the hell is wrong with these people?” “Can’t they see that I have things to do?” In my head I was dropping four letter words. I grew more and more impatient. The sad truth is that we are as big as our anger. In that moment, I was very small.

A few days ago, I was sitting at a restaurant around about 10 women. In a moment a thought came to my mind, three or four of those women have been sexually abused. I started feeling rage. I am sitting around catastrophic present and past suffering. Because for these women, things like pleasure and goodness have been destroyed. They live day-to-day life trying to escape it so they don’t have to feel the pain of that wound. They close themselves off to others. Others who love them. The God who loves them. The God who can heal them. I left the restaurant and went to the local gym and ran on their track. And, I’m praying in my head “Why God? Why?” “Why is it this way? Why am I getting so angry?”

One of the healing stories in the life of Jesus came after he got angry with the Pharisees who are trying to protect laws which includes not healing others. In his anger, Jesus told a man “stretch out your hand” and the man’s hand was restored. Jesus anger lead to a persons healing. Jesus anger restored justice.

When we get angry, it is our mind, body and soul telling us that something is wrong and we need to deal with it. Maybe, if you’re like me there is something bigger going on when you get angry over something as small as waiting in line over a stupid movie. And, it’s really saying deal with your problems, something is going on inside of you. And, hopefully we can learn to embrace the anger of Jesus. When someone gets hurt or wounded, when someone is the victim of injustice, we learn to channel our anger for healing and justice.

Don’t silence your anger. Its giving you direction for healing, justice, calling and vocation.

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3 thoughts on “Don’t silence your anger

  1. Phil Wood says:

    We do have a habit of posting on the same subjects. This has been a problem for me for a long time so I have quite a collection of angry posts:http://bit.ly/iPH8MH

    In general I think there is such a thing as ‘righteous anger’ but it’s so slippery i think we should indulge it pretty sparingly. It’s harder to turn the tap on than off.

  2. Great post, and kudos for running some of your anger into the track at the gym instead of letting it blast out in a more destructive way.

    I’m not sure whether this is true for a lot of men, but I know it’s true for many women (and definitely for me at times) that expressing anger, calling it anger, is not “nice,” “not okay.” That makes it tempting, or even automatic, to stuff it down. But it comes out one way or another: in passive-aggressive behavior, physical illness, depression, you name it. It’s gotta come out.

    I like the way you put it, that we need to learn to channel our anger for healing and justice. Not an easy thing to learn, I don’t think. It really calls us to start with our own personal anger, our own personal healing, and then keep on moving with it until the lessons we learn and the anger we feel can actually bear fruit for others and for the world.

  3. Felecia says:

    It’s important to identify the source of anger when we first feel it bubbling up. When my anger escalates, I know it’s not of my own doing. I believe that the enemy uses one’s anger – and one’s propensity to anger – as a weapon against us and against God. Getting angry in a line for a movie is more about frustration over the wait and your lost time; and the enemy multiplies that feeling until you believe you’re angry. How he loves it when you swear … even in your head … because then you’re behaving like him and opposite of Jesus. I would also suppose that channeling anger for healing and justice is more along the lines of Godly sorrow. You’re not angry so much as you feel sorrow for the injustice of the situation. In all these issues we need to remember to “put on the armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-17) and give these feelings to God to handle – because He will.

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