Anger Recycling

Written by Philip Addo Bempong.

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry (NIV) Ephesians 4:26.

Bible Reading: James 1:19-21

Like all emotions, anger serves a purpose, typically alerting us that we are suffering from some form of distress. This is important because although anger can be uncomfortable mentally and physically, it can also motivate us to address our underlying needs, desires, or perceived threats. It’s unprocessed anger that can lead to conflict, social isolation, problems at work, substance abuse, depression, shame, and even incarceration.

Whether it is a terrible event in your family, workplace, or Church that is triggering the anger response, we need to transform the anger into something good. We can be angry at any point in our life because of our human nature, but we have been tasked not to sin and in order to do so, our anger needs to be transformed into something to praise God.

No matter how terrible the actions of the humans involved are, we must understand that those other humans are ultimately not separate from ourselves. We can forgive them, even though it isn't going to be easy.

Without communication, no real understanding can be possible. But be sure that you can communicate with yourself first. If you cannot communicate with yourself, how do you expect to communicate with another person? It is the same with Love. If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love someone else. If you cannot accept yourself, if you cannot treat yourself with kindness, you cannot do the same for another person.

When we get angry, we suffer. If you really understand that, we will be able to understand that when the other person is angry, it means that she is suffering. When someone insults you or behaves violently towards you, you must realize that the person suffers from his own violence and anger. But we tend to forget. We think that we are the only one that suffers, and the other person is our oppressor.

This is enough to make anger arise and to strengthen our desire to punish. We want to punish the other person because we suffer. Then, we have anger in us; we have violence in us, just as they do. When we see that our suffering and anger are no different from their suffering and anger, we will behave more compassionately. So, understanding the other is understanding yourself and understanding yourself is understanding the other person. Everything must begin with you.

So, as we shun away from anger, let's not despise ourselves in the process. Don’t fight or suppress it. Instead, let’s learn the tender way of taking care of our anger and transform it into the energy of understanding and compassion.

To God be the glory!

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