Discover The Upside of Anger
Most of us are prone to anger! As we grow older, a certain degree of control keeps us in check, but the pot is on simmer and the lid is loosely fixed. An unexpected jolt, or a sudden increase in heat will nearly always result in a boiling cauldron.
Recently we had a couple come to us for help. They had been married for only three weeks. With arms folded, one sat at one end of the couch and the other at the other end. They were very angry; ready to end the marriage there and then!
Child and spouse abuse is rarely a premeditated thing; in most cases it follows a situation where anger pushes aside common sense and lashes out at the first thing it sees. Tragically, that 'first thing' is often a loved one.
In order to help this couple we had to find out what caused them to be so angry with each other. Both of them displayed the very thing that we believe is the root cause of not all, but a lot of anger. Fear!
Fear is a close relative of anger
Perhaps that is a foreign concept to you. Neither the husband nor wife could see the root cause of their anger until we were able to point it out to them. Anger seems to do that to you. It blinds you from the truth! It causes you to look for someone else to blame. I always say once you are able to see and own the real cause of your problem you are over half way to solving it.
Sometimes fears hide themselves and you have to look closer. For example a man likes to succeed, right? Push his buttons and see if he doesn't react as a result of a fear of failure.
A woman likes to be affirmed, right? Push her buttons and see if she isn't deep down afraid of rejection. Come on, we all like to be accepted whether it is through what we do or how we look.
In the husband's case he had been married twice before and both times he had lost a lot of money. Fear of it happening again was the root cause of his outbursts of anger.
Of course, those sudden flare-ups of temper, while destructive enough, are not the most vicious forms of anger. Much more deadly is the "controlled burn", the seething crater of hatred and spite contained within the heart and fed daily with fresh accusations, either real or imagined. Given the right set of circumstances, one might lash out and in the process bring hurt where none was intended.
In the Bible the apostle Paul spoke not of the possibility of anger, but of what to do in its presence. "Go ahead and be angry", he said in Ephesians 4:26. "But don't use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don't stay angry, and don't go to bed angry." (The Message)
If we are very hurt and very angry, our anger can overcome us - like the couple that came for help. What do we do then? Although there is much written on anger management I feel the most important of all is to forgive the person who has hurt you and deal with the cause of your anger.
Why is it important to forgive when you have been wronged?
Forgiveness releases you
In the Bible Jesus said: "Forgive and you will be forgiven." (Luke 6:37). The literal translation of this Bible verse is 'release and you will be released'.
If you really forgive someone, you no longer blame that person, even though they may be blameworthy. If you do not blame a person, you cannot resent them. If you do not resent them you cannot hold any bitterness in your heart. If you do not hold bitterness then you do not get all emotionally tied up with anger and hate towards that person.
Forgiveness is a Choice
In Biblical terms, forgiveness is the loving, voluntary cancellation of a debt. It is like when someone 'owes' you, but you choose to cancel the debt. (Matthew 18:24-43)
It does not matter how long ago the hurtful event occurred, how wrong they are or how many times we are hurt. The Bible says we must forgive them so God can bless and forgive us. "If you forgive others their sins, your Father in heaven will also forgive you your sins."
Do not use the excuse that you are waiting until you feel like forgiving or until they ask for forgiveness - it will probably never happen. It only hurts you if you continue to let your emotions rule your life. Forgiveness is a choice!
Deal with the root cause of anger
As mentioned earlier we all have expectations in life, whether it be to succeed or be accepted. When these are blocked we can become frustrated and angry. Several things can trigger anger, but they may not necessarily be the real cause of your outbursts. A good doctor or counselor will be able to help you understand what is the root cause of your anger.
As mentioned, there is a definite link between fear and anger. What can I do about it once my fears are recognized?
The moment I began a personal relationship with God and became his child I was allowed to enjoy all the privileges a child would receive. I had his love. God has promised that his love will drive fear away. "Where God's love is, there is no fear, because God's perfect love drives fear out." (1 John 4:18)
By allowing God to fill you with his love you too can conquer your fears. Whether it is a fear of failure or fear of rejection you can be secure in his love knowing that he will help you to succeed and meet your deep inner needs if you allow him.
International traveller, author, and speaker, Wilma Watson has been helping people overcome life's challenges for over 35 years. Her encouraging words have helped thousands reach their full potential. Wilma is the producer of a unique website that makes spirituality fun and simple. Visit her site at http://www.ydyc.org
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