I’m going to attempt to go somewhere a little sensitive today. You might find yourself hating me and wanting me to leave you alone, but just try to hear me out. Because I’m after your healing.
I see you there. You face is hard and stoic, which conveys a semblance of strength. But the curtness in your speech and the tightness of your clenched fists reveal that there is a raging fire beneath the surface. Anger has consumed you.
I see you there, and I recognize those clenched fists, because those clenched fists were mine once too.
Anger is such a strange thing. It sneaks up on you when your guard is down. And once it has its grip on you, it hangs on like a leech, sucking the life out of you. It likes to make you believe that in possessing it, you possess power. You possess what you are entitled to. If someone calls you on your anger, you lash out defensively, because in your mind, you deserve to be angry, and NO ONE is going to take that away from you. Anger is like a dangerous road that just keeps taking you further and further away from home.
I have a confession to make. I used to see angry people and judge them fiercely. To me, anger showed a lack of so many things. Trust, forgiveness, self-control, surrender to God’s will, etc. All I saw when I saw angry people, was people who were selfish. They were people who were willing to shut out everyone else because they thought their pain was more significant than others. That was, however, until I experienced enough pain in my life that I found myself being lured down the road of all consuming anger as well. Suddenly I was the defensive one shutting people out and feeling entitled to my rage. I was the one who would explode if the slightest pressure began to overwhelm my already bursting emotional capacity.
So now I understand that although anger is indeed a dangerous road to go down, I also have a different perspective on it, and a new compassion for the angry people I encounter. Because I have learned that the people who are the angriest are also the people who are suffering the most.
If you are angry today, I can imagine it is probably because you have suffered some very deep wounds. Wounds that possibly no one else knows about. Perhaps you are angry at life, at circumstances that have sorely disappointed you, or perhaps you are angry at a person who hurt you, and maybe that person is someone who was supposed to love you. Whatever your wound is, I know it cuts deep, and I am so, so sorry for your pain! I promise I absolutely don’t judge you anymore, and I’m so sorry I ever did, because I know how hard the struggle is now, and I know your suffering is real.
But can I let you in on a little secret? And I promise this completely only comes from a heart of compassion for your suffering and a desire for your freedom.
Your anger is magnifying your pain. It is not helping matters. It is not validating your pain. It is magnifying it. That’s what anger does. It magnifies pain. And if you want to be rid of your pain, you need to be rid of your anger.
Now before you get your hackles up, and start screaming about how dare I tell you what you need to do with your anger, and how you every right to be angry, just hear me out.
Anger is not something that EVER gives you control of your situation. Anger only controls you. Anger has all the power, NOT YOU, and in letting it rage within you, it will destroy you. I know. It almost destroyed me, my marriage and several other relationships of mine. You might believe that you deserve to be angry, but do you believe you deserve to be destroyed? Because that’s all it will do. It will destroy your joy, your peace, your perspective on life, your reason for living, and your love for others. Once it is finished destroying you completely, it will start destroying all your relationships, because angry people are not capable of loving or forgiving completely.
I know this isn’t what you want to hear, and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably feeling caught somewhere between wanting to shut me out, and wanting to be free of it all once and for all. But is freedom even possible? Once the vice grip of anger takes hold, it seems like we will be trapped forever.
Friend, I’m here to tell you that freedom is possible. There is hope for your healing. There is hope for forgiveness. There is hope for peace!
Hope is possible, because Jesus came to set the captives free. And those captives include you! Do you think when Jesus died, He intended for you to spend your life steaming and stewing over every hurt done to you? No, He came because He cared so much about every one of those wrongs done to you that He wanted to make them right. He came so that you may have abundant life, and that you may live that life to the fullest!
I know that the thought of letting go of your anger is terrifying. It’s the only way you know how to cope with your pain. The thought of letting anger go can seem like you are saying that what happened to you was ok, that it didn’t matter, or that you are letting that thing get off the hook. You are not. Believe it or not, God cares about your pain even more than you do. And he’s got it covered. He is a safe place for you to surrender you pain. He will make every wrong right and He will hold your heart safe in His hands.
Give Him your anger. Let it go, and let Him replace it will His love. It is the only thing that will truly set you free. He did it for me, and He can do it for you. So let him. He is ready to make you new.
P.S. Anger is such a huge and complicated topic, and not one that I can cover in a single letter, let alone even a whole series on anger. However, I’m going to spend the next couple letters diving in a little deeper into the different kinds of anger and how we can find healing in them. If you are someone who is looking for help on how to deal with anger, I highly recommend seeing a Biblical counselor who can walk you through the process of healing and surrender. Here is a link to help you get started on finding one in your area. https://biblicalcounseling.com/counselors/ Don’t wait another day to start your journey to freedom.
*This post is part three in a series entitled, “31 Letters of Hope for the Suffering”. To read the other posts in this series, click here.