I don’t like anger. It’s a fairly normal emotion, but did you know the way you handle this emotion can make a difference to your physical health? Cardiologist Dave Montgomery, MD, of Piedmont Hospital says, “regular feelings of anger increase the likelihood for heart disease, and that within two hours of an outburst, the chances of a heart attack or stroke skyrocket.” Anger is a serious foe and one we should take seriously!
Tim Keller says this about anger:
There’s nothing wrong with being ticked — getting angry to a degree — if somebody slights your reputation, but why are you ten times — a hundred times — more angry about it than some horrible violent injustice being done to people in another part of the world? Do you know why? . . . Because . . . if what you’re really looking to for your significance and security is people’s approval or a good reputation or status, then when anything gets between you and the thing you have to have, you become implacably angry. You have to have it. You’re over the top. If we find ourselves angry about getting snubbed in social media, being cut off in traffic, going unrecognized for work, having an idea shut down, or feeling underappreciated by our spouse — the problem might be that we love ourselves too much.
We all deal with anger, yet some temperaments tend toward red-faced eruptions while others are serenely relaxed and easygoing. In her article “Why Anger Is Bad For You,” neurophysiologist Nerina Ramlakham says, “All experience anger but now we separate people differently into those who hold rage in and those who express it out.” The question, then, isn’t who gets angry, but how one expresses his or her anger.
In our past weekend services, we saw that Jonah was wrongfully angry and expressed his anger to God through prayer. For many of us, instead of taking our anger to God, we end up taking our anger out on others. Our anger and rage end up hurting our relationships and causing personal harm.
In Jonah chapter 4 we see that God heard Jonah’s angry prayer and reminded him of His great love, mercy, and grace. We see that God was able to engage with Jonah’s anger and help Jonah express and release his anger in a healthy manner.
When dealing with my own anger, I know I’m not capable of healthily handling it on my own. I have found greater peace in slowing myself down, going to the Heavenly Father, and being reminded of His great love.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19