Allow yourself to be angry.
I say “allow” instead of “be” angry or “get” angry, because I think a lot of us already have anger inside of us. I think we just need to allow ourselves to be real about it.
I don’t say this because I deeply see into your soul. I say this, because the world is hard, I don’t understand it, and I’m processing through it myself. It doesn’t make sense that we wouldn’t be angry.
Jesus said to not let the sun go down on your anger. He didn’t say “don’t be angry”. He just wants us to deal with it in the right way.
Why sometimes do we think anger is such a bad thing?
In my experience, I’ve seen people be angry, and THEN I see them sin because of their anger. However, the anger wasn’t the sin. Even the act of expressing their anger wasn’t the sin. The sin was only in the way their anger was communicated.
I’ve seen anger turn into sin in the way it was communicated in two ways:
1. The anger was directed toward the wrong person
2. The anger was communicated in the wrong way
Is throwing something across the room communicating anger? Yes, very obviously and effectively. Is it wrong? Yes, very obviously. We’ve probably all been in this place of dealing with anger. It’s painful. And that’s why we need to deal with it.
If we don’t deal with the pain in our bodies, we get sick. If we have symptoms in our bodies, and we don’t go to a doctor or take care of it, our illness could get worse. It’s the same with our soul or spirit. If we see symptoms, like anger, reoccurring, it’s a sign that somewhere along the way, something was hurtful and we need to take care of it.
“Why deal with anger when it’s painful?”
I can’t give you a theological, Bible-verse wrapped answer. I can just tell you I’ve been angry so many times that I’d have a good salary if it were my day job. I can just tell you that I’ve been through hard seasons – like the one I just came out of, for example, and the one I’m still processing through. I know that if I don’t deal with anger (or other “sick soul symptoms”) it will show. I won’t love others well, my joy is more robbed, and honestly, life is just not as fun. In dealing with anger, a lot of things don’t make sense. The Lord was and, honestly, still is redeeming discouragement and broken expectations.
I’ve heard myself say things like…
Lord, I trusted You.
Lord, I thought You wanted me to do this. I was serving You.
Lord, You don’t make sense. I know You’re good, but I don’t feel like You have good for me.
I don’t understand You, and I don’t get it; and You need to fight for me.
I say things, and will continue to ask God hard questions and to process these things with Him. Why? Because I don’t know who else has answers or how else to get through life! God is my plan A, and when it doesn’t work, I have to get through it until it does!
This might not seem like something someone “super holy” would say, but let’s be real – life is hard and it doesn’t always make sense! That’s part of being human. We’re going to mess up. Let’s get over failure. It’s happened before. I’ve failed. So what? God still loves me.
Maybe that’s one of the most powerful parts of my testimony I can share.
Hey world! Guess what!? I failed! I didn’t live up to my own expectations! Nothing worked like I planned! And guess what!? I’m still alive! I’m still fine! I am still loved by the Lord, and for the sake of mankind’s integrity – I can be real about it!
So what do I do with my broken expectations? What have I felt like?
Well, to be honest, I’ve felt discouraged. At times, I’ve felt angry.
What did I do to process the anger?
I got mad at God. Sometimes I talked to Him about it. Sometimes I was too mad to talk to Him with an open heart, so I would just remain mad. It is what it is. The Lord is bigger than the boxes we put Him in, and He has been giving me grace to sort through whatever I’m thinking.
And you know what?
The Lord wasn’t mad at me for being mad. The Lord isn’t mad at me for being angry. He’s not ashamed of me. He’s not scared. He’s not backing away. He just stays there and He lets me be angry. He doesn’t tell me anything. He doesn’t tell me I’m doing something wrong. He doesn’t shame me. He doesn’t tell me to stop venting or crying or being mad. He stays silent until I tell Him I’m willing to listen.
And when He spoke to me, He didn’t speak to me about my anger. He spoke to me in a kind way and about what I needed to hear to be encouraged.
With that and for the sake of this not getting too long, I’ll leave this processing here for the moment and encourage you with this.
Let yourself be angry.
When someone hits you in the face, you get mad. Why? Because it hurts and it shakes you up and doesn’t make you feel good. Frankly, they were rude and mean!
When someone punches you in the stomach, you have no problem saying they shouldn’t do that.
When someone punches your heart verbally or emotionally, do you still have a problem saying they were mean and rude and shouldn’t do that?
If someone punches me in the face, I’m going to be mad; but if someone punches me emotionally, I have more trouble validating my anger. Why? I don’t know, and I don’t feel like analyzing it at the moment; but I just know that’s the case. If you’re the same way, then feel free to walk with me through the journey of chasing God and being willing to be chased by God when it doesn’t make sense.
Let yourself be angry.
God isn’t afraid or pushed back by your anger. He created the world and the whole universe rests upon His existence, so one little person venting their anger isn’t going to change His character. You will move His heart, but You won’t change His character.
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and no one person in the world will ever change this. He is who He is, and if He ceases to be who He says He is, then His whole case is faulty; so it’s all or nothing. Go big or go home, baby!
If this seems straight forward and raw, it’s because it is. Welcome to my inner world!
I genuinely hope and pray that you’ll be able to process through hard-to-get-through seasons and emotions. I have no doubt the Lord will carry you or I through. I have no idea what it looks like, but I know it’ll be good.
God bless you so much, my friends. I got love for you, and Jesus has more love and capacity for you all! Look forward to more coming on this topic of processing through anger. In the meantime, feel free to pull a Jacob, and wrestle with the Lord. Just be aware, you might come out limping, with a life-long injury of a broken hip with a side of a life blessing!
If you need a minute to process with the Lord with some music, feel free to check out Audrey Aussad – Even In Winter. It’s been helpful to listen to her music this morning as I am processing through this.