3 Important Musts When You are Angry


I have been doing a lot of thinking about anger lately. Maybe it’s because of how often I wrestle with the emotion myself. I also see it frequently in the couples I counsel, as well as in people’s lives in general. And finally, I am sure it is because of hearing our son say on our recent visit with him, that he feels like we weren’t very honest with each other about anger in our family. That gave me pause to think!

I have to be honest–it also made me angry. At least a little. I was thinking to myself: What? This is what I do for a living – help people work through the anger in their relationships! But I think what he said was true. Alas, I keep learning!!

Anger is a primary emotion we all experience to one degree or another at various times.

If you think you never get mad or angry you are only fooling yourself. I mean that quite literally. We may call it by different terms like frustration or irritation. We might say someone has gotten under our skin or ruffled our feathers. We say such things to minimize our experience of anger, even as we are already trying to control it. These are all however, a form of anger.

Is anger good or bad? It is neither. It simply is. It can lead to good or it can lead to bad. That’s the more important matter.

Anger can lead to good when a person is mad over an injustice being committed and the anger motivates him or her to do something that benefits others. Anger can lead to good when a person has it under control and engages in necessary conversation to bring about health in a relationship. Anger in control can further the good of society or relationships.

Anger can lead to bad when it is expressed by a person who is out of control and self-focused. Wounded feelings, broken relationships, abuse, violence, war, and even death are the result.

Anger out of control brings destruction by serving one’s own purposes.

Let’s review: I get angry; you get angry. Our anger can lead to good, or bad. Which it is depends upon whether or not we are in control or out of control, and if we are using it to benefit others or ourselves.

Decide NOW before the next time you are angry: Do you want to be known as someone with self-control or out of control? Someone who benefits others or wounds them?

I assume your answer would be the same as mine: we want to be people with self-control and people who benefit others rather than wound them. Still, it is important that we think hard on this. Agreeing to this is easy; living it out takes a great deal of effort.

There are three musts: be strong, be courageous, and remember the golden rule.

First, be strong and walk away if you are about to hurt someone. It takes only seconds to wound someone with your words, but it can take a lifetime to heal that wound! (tweet this!)

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Proverbs 18:21 KJV

Second, when ready, be courageous enough to be honest with others about what you are feeling and why–in the hope of bettering those relationships. Before you do, I would strongly recommend you read or re-read my last blog, What Do You Do With the Mad?

“…speak the truth, in love…” Ephesians 4:15 NLT

And third, remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you plan to speak to someone about your anger, think of how you would hope that same someone would speak to you if the roles were reversed. Would you hope they would give some thought to what they would say ahead of time? That they would deliver their message with some degree of self-restraint? Then do the same for them.

“…be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry…” James 1:19 NIV

What would you add as a MUST to keep in mind when angry? Leave a comment below!

1 reply
  1. Christine Kremp
    Christine Kremp says:

    Perfect timing! The last few weeks I have been holding in my anger about a certain situation that is going on with someone who gossips at my church and who is involved with the recovery program. For over a year I sat back and watched her in “action” subtracting and dividing people. Everyone knows she gossips but because her husband is a leader in the church and is loved by everyone they just “let it go”. About 6 weeks ago I could not hold back my words for one more minute and I SNAPPED. I have not discussed the event with anyone however she has spoke to many about it, even including people in prayer. Which is her number one way she spreads gossip. The whole thing makes me sick. Using our sacred time with God as a tool for her to do damage control and her second tool is hospitality with cookies and coffee. I am so angry I even had a dream about her last week. My heart is for the brokenhearted and I know she does these things because deep down inside her self esteem is low…I have have attempted to follow God’s word in how to approach her but nothing works. I’ve been told by one woman who is in leadership that she feels threatened by me because everyone likes me and she thinks I want to take HER ministry away from her. Which is ridiculous in itself…it’s not hers..it’s Gods. This anger consumes me at times throughout the day sometimes when I focus on how she is allowed to get away with her insidious behavior.


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