“What a jerk! How can someone do this to me? Sorry, I’m just venting, I’m really mad right now at this [fill in the blank].”
Many people lobby that venting anger through explosive language and aggressive actions is a healthy way to cope with a situation, but there is a real danger in giving in to anger. “Venting” is accompanied by one person sentencing and judging an offending party – a right we do not have as fallen, sinful human beings. Be careful not to judge someone else unless you yourself are as perfect as Jesus! God witnesses this behavior and does not approve. God is not the only one who will judge you for this.
Sinking into corrosive thoughts affects all that you do, and everyone around you. Venting will procure fear in your children — not fear of the offender, but of you, with your loud voice and vicious gestures. Your spouse may try to calm you down, soothe the issue or offer suggestions, but clouded by your anger, you interpret the gestures as him/her taking the offender’s side. More explosive behavior, “venting” and hurtful language ensues towards your spouse, damaging your relationship. You expect your friends and family to become martyrs for your cause. After all, you are right. Families are torn apart by this kind of anger, friendships destroyed; the message of love is lost. In time, a personal hell is created just for you as you find yourself isolated.
Anger does, however, serve a godly purpose. It is meant to fuel and energize us to move towards a solution to the original offense, to fix the problem without degrading or judging another person. For example, finding out a classmate cannot afford school lunch might make you enraged at his parents for not taking care of their child or it can inspire you to organize a fundraiser to help this family with school lunch money for the remaining school year. Shaming the parents does nothing, but calling your community together in love and kindness to help provide for someone does more than just buy a sandwich. It shares the Gospel of love. The ripple effect from the child, his school, his family and the community is amazing! Retraining yourself to use anger as a source of problem solving is a discipline, an incredible tool to do a great amount of good. It takes time and focus!
To recap our week, we must admit that we get angry. Pray about it and confess our sins in this regard. We must understand that anger itself is not a sin and does, in fact, have a purpose in our lives. Apologize for our anger to the offending party, for we know we are not perfect ourselves. Forgive the offender as Jesus has forgiven us. Finally, re-channel the anger towards a solution. And through all things, pray.
But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.
Dear Father, thank you for giving us such amazing, powerful tools to use to your glory. As with all tools, mastery is required. Help us to learn how to use anger for a good purpose instead of destruction. Let it energize us to spread the Gospel and your message of compassion, love and forgiveness. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This post was written by Aviva Hufford. Aviva has been married to Dustin Hufford for eight years, has a 2-year-old son, Desmond, and is expecting another child in May! Aviva is a stay at home mom and has an RN, BSN, and worked in pediatric surgery for years. She was raised Jewish and began going to CedarCreek Church in the winter of 2013. After consistently attending both the weekend service and LifeGroup, she gave her life to Christ and was baptized in 2014.
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