On 28th of June, Reverend Titus Soo – Centre Director of Ellel Ministries Singapore – shared about overcoming anger and its consequences in the Ellel 7-Day International Training School at Everly hotel, Putrajaya.
Meaning of anger
Anger can directly display itself as extreme displeasure and irritability.
Indirectly, anger can also display itself in the form of depression, lost of joy, sickness, and mental illness.
It can affect our body, soul and spirit. It is a very costly emotion.
Anger can come in various intensities, from murmuring to screaming and annoyance to rage.
It is one of the most difficult emotions to handle, and the major cause of fractured relationship.
Like a virus, anger can spread through generations, when it is part of a family tradition. That is why we are called to be careful of angry people, as we may learn their ways (Proverbs 22:25).
Types of anger
Anger finds its roots in two words – ‘thymos’ and ‘orge’.
‘Thymos’ refers to a turbulent commotion, boiling agitation or impulsive outburst of anger. It can be likened to a ‘smoke’ or ‘steam’. It is an explosive and expressive type of anger.
‘Orge’ refers to a silent brewing of anger within, which desires to take revenge or punish the offender. It is more long-lasting and damaging than ‘thymos’. It is an implosive and non-expressive type of anger.
Causes of anger
God gave us the ability to be angry. It is a neutral feeling. And because it is a feeling, none of us can avoid this feeling.
An unresolved issue or past hurt can cause anger. Rumination of the past anger gives opportunity to the devil to add fuel and build a ‘convincing’ story to stay angry. This is called as toxic mindset.
Unforgiveness can cause anger, which is an open door for the principality of bitterness to come in.
Betrayal can cause anger, which leads to unforgiveness. If this continues, we begin to resent the person, followed by anger.
Failure of others in reaching our expectation also cause anger. For example, Naaman was angry when Elisha did not immediately and personally restore him from leprosy (2 Kings 5).
Violation of our personal stands and values can cause anger. Jesus overthrew the money-changers’ tables in the temple court, because they dishonored His Father’s house (Matthew 21:12-13).
Demonic influence can cause anger. The Bible says, ‘In your anger do not sin: do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold’ (Ephesians 4:26-27). Anger beyond the night gives the devil a foothold into us.
Jealousy and pride can cause anger. King Saul’s jealousy of David caused him to be enraged with him (1 Samuel 18).
Generational curses can cause anger.
Handling our anger
Some of us deal with anger by denying, ignoring or repressing our real feelings of anger.
Some of us deal with anger by taking revenge and afflicting maximum pain to our offender.
Whichever way it is, we need to know that anger is a form of energy. Therefore, it does not dissipate itself but it changes in form.
If we do not find a way to express anger, it will find its way to express itself.
Ungodly ways of expressing anger includes venting at others, trashing properties, blame-shifting, cursing the offender, using foul language, and inflicting harm to self.
Therefore, we need to find a way to properly discharge this feeling.
A godly way of expressing anger would be confronting the offender in a loving manner. Sometimes, a mediator who is just, loving and caring is helpful in mediating this situation as well.
Often, anger comes from our mind. We perceive and analyse what our mind receives, based on our memories, beliefs and value system. This process in turn, affects our emotions. The devil likes to affect our emotional basement.
But the Holy Spirit wants our human spirit to respond the right way, from us interacting and submitting to Him.
The question is: do we respond by submitting to the Holy Spirit or do we react by submitting to our feelings?
To respond, when we are angry, we need to ask ourselves why do we feel angry. We need to stop and think. Do not let our feelings take over. But think about constructive and godly ways to solve the cause of anger.
For example, William Wilberforce fought for the abolition of slavery constructively with godliness, through politics for 20 years. And that proved to be effective in writing off slavery from human history in America.
Handling anger of another person
In a situation where anger has taken up so much from a relationship, the question to ask is whether to stay or move on from the relationship.
First, we need to ask the LORD first (that is after all help is received).
Then, we need to let go of God and ask Him for wisdom in setting healthy boundaries with the offender. This is to prevent future provoking to anger.
In confronting an angry person, we want to address their problem with openness and respect. Allow the offender to confront us and give time for rebuilding of trust and love, if choose to stay.
Teaching a child to handle anger
Firstly, we need to first let the child express his or her anger. While expressing, set an agenda to teach him or her about forgiveness.
Address the problem, and not the person.
Our child should not feel threatened and should be empowered to make the right decision, telling them that decisions have consequences.
Explain to the child why people acted that way and guide them through a problem-solving way.
Finally, be honest – let the child know how you feel about his or her behavior and let the child own his or her problem.
Saying a prayer of forgiveness
How we respond to anger matters. The first step to let go of anger is to forgive the offender, from our heart. And God knows it’s hard for us. That is why He helps us to forgive, when we say yes to Him.
We say ‘Yes, God’ and He comes and works forgiveness into our heart.
Forgiveness is divine.
Forgiveness is necessary.
All of us get angry.
And all of us need to forgive, and receive forgiveness.
Thank you Jesus for dying for me on the cross, so that I might be forgiven. I now choose to forgive those who offended me from my heart, and I release from my heart all judgment from all those who have ever hurt me.
Lord, help me also to seek forgiveness from anyone I have offended. Help me to do this with love and to bless them.
Dear Father God, I also ask for forgiveness for the things that I have wrongly blamed You for in my life. This is wrong and I am sorry. LORD, I thank You for forgiving me.
I also choose to forgive myself. Please come and help me to come into the full release and freedom You have for me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Thank you Father that You have rescued me from the dominion of darkness and has brought me into the Kingdom of Your Son. You have redeemed me with Your Precious blood of Your Son and I belong to You. I have been born again and I am a member of Your family. Jesus is the LORD.
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