Dealing With Anger Through Forgiveness

In today’s world we are in constant battle.  Our battle is not against flesh and blood but rather  against Spiritual wickedness.  What God has Satan wants.  As a result Satan seeks to control and ultimately destroy believers.  Satan has many devices he can use to wage war against Christians today.  Among those weapons are the tools of anger and an unwillingness to forgive. 

Anger if left untreated becomes an emotion that imprisons the soul.  In its initial state anger is a natural reaction of man.  The problem with anger  becomes serious when we allow it to remain within us.  This natural emotion becomes one of Satan’s controlling weapons in our lives.  Scripture tells us, “let not the sun go down on your wrath.”   If anger is harbored in our heart it becomes an enslaving power controlled by Satan himself.

What makes it so difficult to give up anger? Why is it so hard to forgive when we feel we have been wronged? Why is it so unnatural to forgive when things don’t go our way?  Let me share a few obstacles that hinder our forgiveness and  handling of anger:

  • We rehearse how we have been wronged. In our minds we re-think the wrongs we have suffered and plan how we shall avenge those wrongs. Forgiveness requires we give up our right to demand restitution for the wrong.
  • Pride   I have often heard the statement made, “He has done me wrong, I will get even.”  Our pride stands in the way of simply laying our anger down.  Our pride demands we continue to hold a grudge.
  • Negative Advice  Friends and acquaintances mean well but sometimes give bad advice.  Rather than listening to man we need to consider the thoughts of God.  No wrong is so great that it justifies our allowing anger to control our hearts.
  • Partial Forgiveness We display an attitude that says I can forgive some things but not others.  Forgiveness requires my laying aside all anger. Forgiveness demands I give up my right to be angry.

Matthew 6:14-15 gives us an example of how things ought to be.  In this text Jesus says, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  This does not leave forgiveness in the realm of choice.  This is teaching us that our forgiveness from the Father depends on our ability to forgive others.    It is essential to our well being that we grasp this critical statement:  “We must have a forgiving spirit in order we not cause undue pain in our lives.”  As a Christian it is my responsibility to take the initiative in dealing with anger and forgiveness.  Forgiveness is never easy.  We must realize that forgiveness can be one of the most unselfish acts we can perform. 

As important as it is to forgive, how do I lay down the anger in my life?  Let’s look at a few thoughts that can allow us to both forgive and lay our anger aside:

  • Realize God has forgiven us.  What right do we have to hold anger in our hearts?  God paid a tremendous price that we might be forgiven.  In view of God’s gift we have no right to refuse to forgive.
  • Confess your anger, hostility, and rage to God.  We need to confess our faults.  There is healing power in our willingness to confess. Sometimes we need to hear the words of our heart.
  • Lay down your anger and bitterness by choice.  It is important we willfully choose to lay anger aside.  We must forgive not by command but choice.  Choose to forgive and the anger will leave you.
  • Be willing to accept things and individuals as they are.  Anger is about control. We are angry because we cannot make things turn out as we want them to be.  A sign of maturity is our ability to accept things and individuals we cannot control as they are.

When we lay our anger down in forgiveness we will find ourselves in a different mindset.  We will begin to grow until we reach the point we thank God for having allowed this to happen to us.  We realize that we are sometimes wronged so that God might teach us about grace.  When we think about anger and being wronged certain people will ultimately come to our minds.  Be wise enough to willingly lay down your anger and forgive those individuals so that God can set you free.  Without our willingness to lay aside our bitterness Satan will bind us through the guile of our own hearts.

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5 Responses to Dealing With Anger Through Forgiveness

  1. Christina says:

    Thank You!

  2. Guy says:

    Interesting post on anger, with a good idea for all people to strive towards as long as we all live but not really reachable with our finite minds.

    Who is without anger in some form in their present day life? The reason I can make this statement is that anger takes many forms within the human condition. Even Jesus had anger that He expressed publicly in the temple.

    Here are some of the ways we human way we feel our anger: Angry, Affronted, Annoyed, Antagonistic, Arrogant, Bitter, Chafed, Choleric, Convulsed, Cross, Displeased, Enraged, Exasperation, Explosive, Fear, Ferocious, Fierce, Fiery, Fuming, Furious, Galled, Hateful, Heated, Hot, Huffy, Ill-tempered, Impatience, Impassioned, Incensed, Indignant, Inflamed, Infuriated, Irascible, Irate, Irritation, Irritability, Indignation, Maddened, Nettled, Offended, Out of Control, Outraged, Provoked, Raging, Resentful, Riled, Self-righteous, Sore, Storming, Sulky, Sullen, Superiority, Testy, Turbulent, Up-tight, Vexation, and Wrathful.

    Here are some of the common ways people express their anger: Addictions, Aggressive Behavior, Attempts to Control; people, places and things, Blaming, Burnout, Catastrophic Expectations, Compulsions, Deception, Denial, Depression, Direct Attack, Gossiping, Hopelessness, Hypocrisy, Isolate, Judgmental, Low Self Esteem, Lying, Martyrdom, Masochism, Obsessions, Oppression of action, Oppression of Thoughts, Passive Aggressive Behavior, Psychosomatic Disorders, Revenge, Sadism, Sarcastic, Self-Sabotage, Stealing, Suicidal Thoughts, Suicide, Superiority, and Withdrawal. (Some of these will surprise you)

    Anger is usually fear based. We get angry because we fear we will not get something we want or we feel angry because we fear we will lose something we think we control.

    Letting go of anger is a lifelong occupation. It is like marriage and requires constantly work until death. Forgiveness is also a lifelong struggle for humans; requiring constant work.

    The first requirement of forgiveness is pray for the humility to understand that in a disagreement, fight, etc… there is never a right side. Each party to an altercation of any type must accept their wrongful part and confess their part to the other party before any attempt at honest forgiveness will be really offered.

    I personally have never met, in my entire life, a single person nor do I know of a single person who ever lived that did not have anger somewhere within their lives.

  3. Christina, you are welcome. It is essential that we not allow anger to control our lives. God would not expect us to lay our anger down unless He knew it could be done. Guy thanks for the comment.

  4. Guy I took a second look at your response. It occurs to me that God would not give us a command that He did not expect us to fulfill. He says in Ephesians 4:31, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Either we have faith in God or we do not. Either we choose to obey or not. It is a command of God that we get rid of anger. Don’t allow it opportunity to continue within. When we harbor anger we give the devil a foothold according to Ephesians 4:21. I agree that we will all have anger in our lives from time to time but we can’t let it control us by our holding this anger in our hearts.

  5. Jan says:

    Very good post Dell! If we hold on to anger and do not forgive we give control of our life to Saten. It is not easy to forgive and turn lose of our anger, but with Christ’s help we can. I should say ONLY with Christ’s help we can. It is only with a close personal realtionship with Jesus than we will and can live a life pleasing to God.

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