I’ve spent the day today wondering why I’m so mad about my coworkers. All the time. Sometimes it is lesser in scope, like a mild eye-rolling displeasure. And sometimes, like last night, it is a massive and all-consuming beast that stops all sense of reason and logic and definitely drowns out any possibility of walking in love.
One thing I know for sure, I am definitely human. Far from perfect (as I have been accused of being). For my humanity is claiming the better part of me and taking over where my heart should lead. Christ in me is taking a backseat to emotions. I’m losing the war. And I don’t know why.
It really bothers me that I don’t know why.
So I start asking questions:
- Is it unexpressed frustration and unspoken anger?
- Is it the silent retreat to keep the peace?
- Is it the lack of defending being right against numerous (unanswered) accusations?
- Is it feeling unappreciated?
- Is it feeling isolated and outcast, being outside the front office loop?
- Is it the hurt in always being told the issues are all my fault?
- Is it the preconceived angst from all our previous confrontations?
- Is it the lack of positive morale and feedback?
- Is it feeling powerless and discouraged in an imperfect hierarchical system?
- Is it being made to feel like a “poker face” is the only answer?
- Is it not being able to talk – like adults – about our issues?
- Is it the “snarky” obnoxious little comments about my performance?
- Is it the feeling of hopelessness that things won’t ever change for the better?
I can ask a million questions, but I still don’t know why. I want to know why.
Because today I see how anger has become my master. Anger is an all-consuming master that guides my life and takes over all rational thought and reasonable action.
And I let myself be consumed. Yes, I admit I allowed myself to be controlled and manipulated. And I am ashamed. Even in the moment, I knew it was wrong. The voice was strong and clear to “stop!” and yet I chose to go my own way. Because my way felt good and right and justified. Even though God was whispering to me that His way is better. But I chose me. Just another reminder that I have so far to go!
I can look back on my life and see where I would have been angry every hour of every day, but God has brought me beyond that point. It usually takes something pretty big or somewhat obnoxious to make my blood boil.
But God reminds me, again, that any anger is wrong. The chip on my shoulder is wrong. The preconceived ideas about constantly being judged are wrong.
Here was today’s You Version scripture: For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. Romans 12:3 NKJV
And I know I’m on the right track in realizing how wrong I am. Because anger isn’t thinking soberly. Because anger isn’t faith. Because anger isn’t right.
Thank God for His grace! Thank God for His mercy! Thank God for another chance to get it right.
Because in seeing where I have gone wrong – and admitting it – I can turn in the right direction. I can turn (back) to God, who can unclench the tight hold that anger has on me.
And I have to be willing to walk into an office where yes, maybe I am the only one who does not express her anger. Maybe I am the one who does bite her tongue and does not respond to snarky comments. And I am definitely the one who needs to let it go and give it to God. Because it doesn’t do me any good to hold onto it. He can’t work through me when I’m holding onto my anger. And I can’t hear Him – and be willing to obey His way – when I’m clenched up in anger.
So why can’t I let it go? Why does it bother me? At this point, I don’t know. So I will continue to take it to God and ask Him to help me. I will believe that by His grace I will (slowly) become the person I am meant to be. And maybe one day – hopefully in the near future – I will be the person who just lets it roll without stopping to talk to it or accommodate it or respond to it. That’s the person I want to be, a person of peace instead of perturbance. And I can only get there with God’s help.
So loving Father, please help me to not be overcome by angry thoughts and hostile emotions. Help me to let it go and replace it with Your peace and love and joy and gentleness and kindness. Help me to walk in self-control at all times and in all situations, so people see You and Your majesty instead of my anger. It’s a hard road, God, and I thank You for staying with me during all the detours and wrong turns and backtracking. Thank You Jesus that through You and Your sacrifice on Calvary’s cross that I can overcome my addiction to anger. In Your all-powerful name I ask these things, AMEN!
BONUS SCRIPTURES ON ANGER:
- Exodus 34:6, Psalm 86:15, Psalm 103:8, Psalm 145:8, Joel 2:13, Jonah 4:2 – And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
- Psalm 37:8 – Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
- Psalm 138:7 – Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me.
- Proverbs 15:1 – A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
- Proverbs 22:24 – [ Saying 3 ] Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered,
- Proverbs 27:4 – Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?
- Proverbs 29:22 – An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.
- Ecclesiastes 7:9 – Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
- Jonah 4:4 – But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
- Micah 7:18 – Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.
- Matthew 5:22 – But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
- 1 Corinthians 13:5 – [Love] does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
- Ephesians 4:26 – “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
- Ephesians 4:31 – Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
- Colossians 3:8 – But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
- 1 Timothy 2:8 – Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing
- James 1:19-20 – [ Listening and Doing ] My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires
Marie Fremin, 6/3/15