• electhill21

Dealing with anger

Updated: May 20

Anger is a natural expression when things are not going as per what we intended or expected.

But while anger is a natural expression coming from our human spirit, it should not be a spiritual expression when we are renewed (born again) and renewing our minds by being transformed by the word of God. The fruits of the spirits are clear in that they are a set of opposites to the flesh or working of the human sprit; But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Gal 5:22,23)

It doesn’t mean that a born again believer, a renewed or renewing person will never get angry or should suppress their anger. But there will be a considerable ‘pleasing’ difference in the ‘anger’ that a renewing person expresses when compared to your life before being renewed. If you are raising your eyebrow at the misnomer 'pleasing', you will soon see the reason of inducing this pleasure in this post.

Paul writing to the Corinthians (2 Cor 12:10) says that “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Only when we accept our weaknesses will we be made strong and we will actually be able to take ‘pleasure’ in those moments of anger.

Anger is a form of weakness or a reaction to infirmities (weakness), reproaches (disappointment), persecutions (oppression), or distress (anxiety) that fights against the spirit. In our fallen state, anger was wired into our system and even Adam and Eve would have probably felt the initial modes of anger on the planet after they realized what they had done.

We need to be always mindful that the spirit works in a calm manner because the spirit is a comforter (John 14:16), a comforter that is the Holy Ghost will always work in a calm, gentle and peaceful manner. Therefore, even after you have been born again and are in the constant process of renewing your mind, all your anxieties that riddle you everyday which leads you to reactions steeped in your previous anger, are a confirmation that your flesh is not letting the gentle Holy Spirit work in your soul openly.

You need to continuously ask the Spirit for peace that will give you understanding to deal with the situation at hand. Paul writing in Philippians 4:7 says "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." But in the verse 6 before that, Paul says that "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Anxieties can lead to anger when not tamed or tempered by the word of God and His peace.

In understanding our anger, we need to see it from the spiritual and natural perspective. Because while we are on Earth - alive in our bodies - yet not of the world (John 17:16), our dwelling still concerns things of the world; we cannot escape or avoid the cycle of life, its events, our circumstances, the community, the society, people, their natures, their characteristics, their responses, and the other aspects that make up life. All of these invariably affect us in many ways and not everything will be as per our wishes or expectations. But we look to Him in the spirit and draw our strength in order to deal with the circumstances of each day.

Living in each day we are affected by so many things and anger is always a knock away. It might start out as a minor irritation which then blows up into a major irritation and then explodes in a reaction stemming from anger. Once the ‘lava of that explosion’ settles we begin to cool until something else comes our way. Extreme anger can lead to extreme forms of behaviour that can cost you severely or someone their life. When anger that is uncontrolled increases in amounts, it has a direct bearing on our bodies and the blood pressure increases which in the long run can have a lot of health implications.

The natural cycle of life is driven by our emotions of which anger is a natural expression and reaction. It is no point suppressing it either as it will implode and cause more damage to our inner being and mental state. That even though we are driven by our emotions and our natural reactions - that are mostly triggered by established patterns in our memory - we still need to be mindful of His presence in our minds and draw strength from Him when we know we are entering another bout of unbridled anger.

Our anger - most of the times - is directed at something or someone and if this something or someone is not aligned to what we want it to be aligned with, our human nature tells us ‘this is not the way’. Having lived for a few decades, your memory establishes certain precepts and points of reference which become your guide. It can be simple daily habits that you perform; right from your daily ablutions, to dressing for work or driving to your office. And then we are constantly responding to events unfolding before us; from noises or people you don’t like to be around with to sudden moments where you are taken by surprise by an email or something someone says.

But we need to realise that by living in the body of Christ, we depend on the ‘sWord’ of the Lord, in which anger doesn’t play a role the way it plays in our natural mind. If you are a renewed believer who is constantly renewing yourself (Romans 12:2), moments of frustration that might possibly be on the brink of explosion will be tempered by the Holy Spirit and will alert you to be in check of your emotions and expressions. We only need to depend on Him in those moments where we anticipate anger growing, which might lead to an unnecessary reaction. We need to apply His grace that He has given us to ride over that anger. When we are walking in faith continuously, such moments come and go and we won’t even notice it.

Often times the answer is staring right at our face (in the natural or spiritual) which is to ‘ignore’ minor irritations, pet peeves and the other assortment of issues that easily disturb us. When we use the power of grace that He gave us to ride over the minor issues, we will begin to see more of His grace increasing in our spirit to live a healthy and complete life driven in faith. If you are wondering what this ‘power of grace’ is and where to find it; the answer is - it is wrapped inside your faith - the fuel for the believing life. You need to walk in that moment of expectant anger and say ‘Lord, give me your strength to tide over this anger that is germinating and soon to explode. May you give me all your grace and strength in faith I ask to let me deal with the situation with spiritual strength.’

It doesn’t mean that we become saints and ignore everything that is happening around us. There will be tests in our lives when some issues are major and are tending to a form of anger in our minds that we need to find a way out. We then go to our Father and ask Him to give us an increased amount of grace to deal with the situation with the spiritual calm needed to solve the problem without aggression or aggravating ourselves to such a height that it affects our bodies and minds. Ephesians 4:26 admonishes us to be angry but not sin.

Therefore the Spirit is confirming through the scriptures that anger is a natural occurring event in our fallen bodies and sometimes there are occasions that lead us to a form of justified anger. But even in bringing out that anger we should be careful not to let that lead us to committing an act that we might regret. The anger of a parent toward a child is justified because it is for the good of that child. Anger when you are being wrongly accused or attacked is justified and the Spirit will guide you and keep a check on the extent of your reactions.

Paul also writes in Romans 12:18 that 'If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.' This can also be applied to living peaceably in all states, moods, moments, circumstances, irritations and especially anger. These are all weaknesses and when we have God’s grace flowing in our lives because of our believing, His strength will be made perfect in our weakness. Philippians 4:11 '...for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.' is a very challenging verse to live our days by that too in this post pandemic world but we nevertheless have to ask the Lord to give us strength to learn to be content in whatsoever state that we are.

Our eternal father is always there going before us and leading us with strength and renewing our minds so we need to ask Him for continued strength to deal with our daily struggles.

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