Think of a chain of islands under attack. The enemy hits weekly with long-range bombers. When you stay in sin, you “lose an island” to the enemy and he builds another airstrip and now sends medium range bombers three times a week. You continue to stay in sin, he takes yet another island, builds yet another airstrip and hits you daily now with fighter cover. What you need to do is TAKE BACK the ground that the enemy had previously gained! When we do this, we can put the enemy and his attacks back where they belong.
That’s what we want to do: Take back the ground from our angry past.
Now, many people have good reasons to be angry. Some have been raped, some have been affected by sexual abuse in the home, some have been verbally abused, physically abused, driven to bankruptcy by a dishonest partner, some have been cheated on or divorced. The list goes on.
The tragedy is that the person who wronged you back then still owns you. Because the carcass you devour at the banquet table of anger is yourself.
But there is a way out.
You can put a date on the day that you make that decision so that when the enemy attacks and reminds you of what happened and tries to set off that string of emotions, you can say, “No, no! That was February 23rd. That’s when I took care of that! I know whose voice this is, and upon the authority of scripture, and the power of Jesus’ Name, I want to stand firm, resist the devil. I’m done with the anger.”
Think about the last time you got mad.
Some people, when they get mad, are Expressers. They just let it fly. There’s no hiding your anger when you’re an Expresser.
Some people, when they get angry, are Suppressors. They go to work, get mad at the boss, but can’t show that they’re mad at the boss because they might get fired, so you hang onto it all day. You come home in an angry heap, plop down in front of the TV, which makes your wife mad, but she can’t show her anger toward you because you might blow up on her, so she gets mad and vents at your oldest son since she can’t direct her emotions to you. Now, the oldest son knows that if he yells at Mom, he’ll get busted so he takes it out on his younger sister. She’s no match for her older brother, so she hauls off and kicks the dog, the dog reacts by going after the cat and the cat can’t take it, so it runs outside and kills a squirrel. Now this dead squirrel is the recipient of your suppressed anger. Let that rest on your conscience.
More likely, Suppressers take their tough days out on their kids. They vent on people who don’t have the strength or position to get even. It’s chicken hearted, really. It’s sin. It hurts other people. No one has the right to hurt another person just to make themselves feel better within the confines of Christianity. Research has proven that people who rage grow addicted to the adrenaline rush that comes with it, and they’ll use whatever circumstance is in front of them (such as suppressed anger) to self-induce the rush and they don’t care who they hurt.
But reconciliation is possible. But first, there must be repentance. Once we repent and start breaking bad habits and make the conscious decision to cut out the rage and suppressed anger so that our kids and our grandkids don’t endure it, then we can begin to gain back that ground.
Now, Repressers are a little different. Repressers consider themselves “Good Christians”. And, when those angry feelings start welling up, they pack it down deep and hide it away. They don’t get angry. They get migraines, ulcers and colitis.
No matter if you are an Expresser, Suppresser or Represser, when you allow anger to take over and you hurt other people or yourself, it‘s sin.
But there is a Biblical way to deal with anger without sinning.
If we confess our emotions, thoughts, and circumstances to God before we go out and do something dumb, then we begin to practice living in the Spirit instead of allowing our anger to grab ahold of us and live in sin. But it takes practice. It takes days, weeks, months of practice before it becomes habit.
You see, as Numbers 16:11 says, whenever sin is involved, your beef isn’t with the person you might think it is with… it’s with God.
Even when somebody else angrily sins against you, if you take it to Christ immediately and avoid the trap of slipping into anger, yourself, you can put a stop to the process and not sin. You see, when our perspective is right and focused on God, we can avoid sin and know when something is actually God’s problem and allow Him to work through that situation.
And God can do a whole lot more than you or I can.