Thorns among the Barbs

Thoughts on my journey to heaven

The angry monster within

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Our church sermon series continues with the bondage of Anger – and I must tell you the sermon hit me where I live because I have battled with anger for some time.

As a child I became angry when things didn;t go my way. But I also became quite angry when I was misunderstood, or ignored for my input. Anger has been the weapon of choice to barrel through anything, dismantle any obstacle.. unfortunately it may have put up new obstacles and barriers in the form of hurt, shame and disrespect.

Anger is an emotion– it is the only emotion that is incredibly dangerous because we can do much damage to each other and our selves by misusing it.

Anger is something God has experienced

And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, [Is] not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. – Exodus 4:14

Anger is demonstrated in bot the old and the new testament by God, however always when something is wrong, or incorrect. However God is slow to become angry (Numbers 14)

Anger is given to help us live a godly life and accomplish God’s purposes.
An example given is in Exodus 22:22-24:

Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

In this case the widows and fatherless were being mistreated, and God becomes angry when this is true because widows and orphans are helpless, need support of the village, congregation, others. So anger is a vehicle for correcting this wrong.

Anger is damaging and miss-used:

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:31-32

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. – Colossians 3:8

All of the list of things to put off or not do any more are extensive, but anger is the only one that is an emotion – everything else is a n action.

So anger is something we all battle with, but this is the first time I clearly heard this is a decision, a choice I have made to respond. The heart of the matter is deep inside me I make the choice to express my emotion with explosive anger. And this ought not be.

Lord, I am here struggling to fathom the damage I have done with my active demonstrations of anger. Far too many years of my life have been filled with inappropriate responses when cool heads should have prevaled. I take responsibility for my actions. I have damaged things and people with my rage. I come to you and submit myself to you, asking that you will change me from the inside out that my use of anger will cease, and that you will build in my self restraint, so I may not hurt others. I can trust in your power and strength because you are good, and you want good for us. Amen”

So now the challenge is how to react when anger comes. I know it is not an instant “poof” resolution, but I so much want it to be over, and want to react with gentile grace rather than volitile emotions.

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Written by Barbara Bloom

October 12, 2009 at 11:06 AM

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