Written by: Kat White
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The past two weeks God has been revealing to me some areas in my heart that I haven’t dealt with. I realized I still needed healing in a relationship with someone in my family. This person has been there for me since the beginning, and has done so much for me. Throughout my life that same person has hurt me and put me in some horrible situations.
A year ago, I made the decision to forgive that person and love that person where they were at. These past few weeks, I have felt a terrible anger come from out of nowhere toward that person. They could have simply been next to me and I would begin to cry at the thought of how much they had hurt me. That is when I asked God what the cause of this anger was, why didn’t I get fully healed a year ago when I first forgave them, and why was this happening now?
God has been showing me anger for what it truly is and how much I need to trust in Him, and His perfect timing. This week I wanted to share with you what to do with the anger you have inside of you and how God can help you to be fully free today.
Sometimes we use masks to cover up the things we don’t want anybody to see. If we are carrying anger, we think masking it keeps others from knowing the real us. So we hide behind a variety of masks in an attempt to trick people into thinking we’re something or someone we’re not.
I’ve learned that people respect you more if you share your real self with them rather than trying to hide everything. The truth is people can tell when something isn’t right. You may think you’re hiding your anger, but it’ll eventually find a way to come out, either in voice tone, body language or attitudes.
One example is the “cold shoulder mask.” When someone makes them angry, they may say they’ve forgiven them, but they become cold, showing no warmth or emotion in dealing with that person. These people live a lonely life. Because they’re so afraid of being hurt, they avoid close, meaningful relationships. This is a classic example of choosing your pain. They’ll choose the pain of living an isolated, lonely life instead of working through the problem, in hoping to develop good friendships.
Other people like to use the “silent treatment mask.” They say they’re not angry with you, yet they refuse to talk to you, or they only talk when it’s absolutely necessary, usually little to no communication. When people avoid being with, touching, or doing things for the person they’re angry with, they’re hiding behind a mask, which isn’t the answer.
I encourage you to face the truth and choose your pain. If you want the great and mighty things God has for you, you must get to the root of anger and deal with it. Get rid of the masks and face the things that happened in your life that made you the way you are today. Admit that you can’t change by yourself. Until the root is removed, it’ll continue to produce one bad fruit after another. Oftentimes we spend our lives dealing with the bad fruit of our behavior, but we never dig deep enough to get to the root of the problem. Digging deep to take care of the bad root is painful, but it’s the only lasting way to take care of the problem.
We can either suffer positively, doing what’s right or we can go with the devil’s plan. But remember, the same devil who tempts you to follow your human feelings will later condemn you for doing it. You must decide if you want the pain that will take you into a new glory and healing or to keep your same old pain and try to hide it while it’s rotting inside you.
In the Bible, Peter writes, warning us to be well balanced and have a good attitude. Withstanding the devil at his plans (1 Peter 5:8-9). When you begin to feel anger, it’s the perfect time to exercise the fruit of self control. You may have a good reason to be angry, but don’t use it as an excuse to stay that way. Instead of denying or justifying it, ask God to help you deal with it in a positive way.
Romans 12:21 gives good advice: “Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” When Satan attacks you, instead of getting mad, go bless someone. Responding in a positive way is the direct opposite of what the enemy wants you to do, defeating his plan to keep you upset. It doesn’t come naturally, and it isn’t always easy, but when we do what we can do, God will do what we can’t do. You cannot afford to hold on to anger. We must turn the anger and the people who caused it over to God and let Him take care of it. Trust God and He will take care of you and protect you. You can’t change your past, but when you give it to God, He’ll use it to bring you a better future.
Is all anger sin? No, but some of it is. Even God Himself has righteous anger against sin, injustice, and rebellion. Anger sometimes serves a useful purpose, so it isn’t necessarily always a sin. Obviously, we are going to have these feelings or God wouldn’t have needed to provide the fruit of self-control.
Temptation to do something is not sin. It’s when you don’t resist the temptation, and do it anyway, that is when it becomes sin. We must guard our hearts from allowing anger to drag us into sin. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath last until the sun goes down. Leave no room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him]. Refuse to give the devil any opportunity to get a foothold in your life through anger.”
All anger, no matter its cause, has the same effect on our lives. It upsets us, causing us to feel pressured. Keeping anger locked inside and pretending it doesn’t exist can even be dangerous to our health. Most of the time we’re only hurting ourselves, and the person who angered us isn’t even aware of it. We must take responsibility for our anger and learn how to deal with it. Process it and bring closure to it, and that will relieve the pressure.
I have been through some rough times in my life, and for many years those experiences caused me to feel miserable. I was so mad about the things that happened in my childhood that it was making me bitter and hateful. I was angry with everybody, but one day I heard a sermon and the preacher said, “Are you going to let the events in your life make you bitter or better?” That got my attention, and I eventually had to find a positive way to process my anger. That was a place of new beginnings for me.
When you face your anger, and decide to deal with it God’s way, you can overcome it. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to be stable and walk in the fruit of the Spirit. We have the power to forgive those who do injustices in our lives and to love the unlovely.
You are born to be free, it’s a gift from God. We’re not to be free from responsibility, but free to be led by the Holy Spirit. Any time our freedom is taken away or given away, we experience anger. Are you willing to go through whatever it takes to be free, or do you want to stay in the mess you’re in for the rest of your life?
If you want to be free, just start doing what God wants you to do, one step at a time, and you’ll eventually walk out of your messes. When we are battling anger, we must realize that; “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). When Satan makes you angry, remember that he’s trying to keep you from receiving the will of God in your life.
In 2 Timothy 4:5, Paul told Timothy to be calm, cool and collected and to keep performing the duties of his ministry. That’s good advice for all of us. When we get angry, we should calm down and start doing what God has called us to do.
You can be bitter or better, it’s up to you! If you’re mad about something, instead of letting it ruin your life, turn it into something good. Overcome evil and anger by praying for those who hurt and abuse you. Forgive them and be a blessing to them. It may not be easy at first, but when you make the decision and stick with it, God will take care of the rest.
I encourage you, my dear sisters and brothers, seek God above all things. Ask Him what is the root of your anger, and allow the Holy Spirit to come and begin healing your broken heart. God can handle your anger, even if your angry with Him. He can take your screams and tears, just begin to let it all out. God is the perfect loving Father who is always there for you. All He wants for you is to be completely healed and set free, it is your choice if you want it. Do not be shaken, but trust God. Believe me, God is the only way to freedom and restoration. He paid the price on the cross for your freedom, all you have to do is say yes.
Dear friend, please pray this prayer aloud with me today: Lord Jesus, I come before you now and lay all of my anger at your feet. I give you all bitterness. I invite Holy Spirit into my heart to help me right now. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me. Even the smallest offense I have taken, I give to you today, Lord. I know that it is not right to hold on to this anger and bitterness and hurt. I repent and I also forgive myself right now. I place myself under your authority, Jesus, and under your precious blood today. Help me to bless those who have hurt me and to keep my eyes on you first. In Jesus name. Amen!