It seems that in today’s world of reality shows filled with fights and arguments giving full vent to your anger is something to be praised. But if you are a child and follower of the most high then you believe otherwise. Unfortunately, allowing anger to rule your spirit many times breaks trust, ruins relationships and worse case scenario can end a life.
In my life, I have grown to the point where the desire to know what the word of God says about issues when they present themselves is of the utmost importance, especially if they are destructive and detrimental. When I was younger, I got angry quickly and since I was prone to holding things in, it was wrathful when I did get angry because I exploded. While Anger is a natural human response to an emotion, giving full vent to our anger dictates a level of immaturity and lack of self-control. The bible tells us to ‘be angry and do not sin’. Sinning in anger or giving full vent to our anger (wrath) can have repercussions in both the physical and spiritual realm. James tells us that the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God, so we already see that anger is unproductive and even counterproductive to our walks as children of God.
Here are three other things the bible say’s about how wrath or giving full vent to your anger affects you and those around you! There are also good reflective journaling questions you can answer for yourself. Many times we have ‘a ha’ moments when writing things down and quietly thinking about our inner workings, so give it a try!
- Makes you a fool: Basically, if you give full vent to your anger you are acting like a fool. That’s kind of harsh right? But if you think about it, it’s true! I can remember the times when I blew my top, screaming, cursing and throwing things basically made me look a little crazy. On top of that once I had time to calm down and look back on the mess I’d made, I usually feel quite foolish. (Proverbs 29:11 & Ecclesiastes 7:9). Unfortunately, while you may be apologetic and truly repentant many times people won’t forgive easily or may continue to throw it in your face for years to come. (I talk a little about how to deal with someone that won’t let your past stay in the past.) Have you ever been in a situation where you just ‘went off’ and felt horrible about it later? Why do you think this happened, what in your past made this particular situation one where wrath was your response? How do you think you can prevent this from occurring in the future?
- Makes you a troublemaker: According to Galatians 5, fits of anger is a fruit of the flesh and we know that it produces unrighteousness, but it also produces dissension and chaos. Proverbs 29:22 tells us that a man of wrath stirs up strife and one given to anger causes much transgression and Proverbs 15:1 says that a harsh word stirs up anger. I don’t know about you, but when in an argument with someone, especially a significant other, I used to fight as dirty as they come verbally. This usually did not deescalate the argument, but created more anger between us. I’ve always said that anger is something you can catch if you allow it into your spirit, it can spread and soon both people are on a horrible path to wrath! Can you think of a time when your words have stirred up anger recently? How could you have spoken in love and gentleness to prevent this from happening (go over the scenario in your head with a different reaction and guess how the other person may have reacted differently)? How in your life has wrath been contagious? Can you remember a time when you attempted to keep your cool, but allowed the anger of someone else to take you out of that mindset? What could you have done to prevent ‘catching wrath’?
- A horrible friend: The bible says that you shouldn’t make friends with someone given to anger or a wrathful person. But this bible verse speaks to the fact that a someone quick to anger usually pushes people away, either out of fear, lack of tolerance for the behavior or uncertainty because they never know what will set you off. But what if you are a spouse or parent and given to wrath, separating yourself from your family long-term is usually not a viable option. I would start with being as open and honest as possible and let them know that you are attempting to be better (I talk a little bit about how to deal with that here). I myself have noticed where my tendency to fly off the handle has caused friends to look at me differently and many times those relationships have not been fully mended. People often distance themselves from dangerous things that have a tendency to hurt or feel unpleasant, in this case it would be your anger. Have you noticed your anger coming between you and those that you love, family relationships, friendships, partnerships etc.? How can you go to them now, laying all pride aside and be open and honest? Write a letter (even a paragraph) letting them know how you feel as this may be an easy way to get the conversation started.
- Distant from God: The bible is pretty harsh on those that give full vent to their anger and it’s possibly because it is one sin that can so easily creep in and tear relationships apart if not kept in check. If you are prone to giving full vent to your anger not only are you considered a fool and troublemaker, but you are distancing yourself from God through sin. Those that are given to fits of anger are lumped together with those that practice sexual immorality, idolatry and orgies! Wrath is that serious to God and we can not inherit the kingdom of and since it is a sin to give full vent to your anger as it cuts us off from God (Galatians 5:20). I challenge you to read a proverb a day and highlight what it says about anger, it is full of wisdom!
There is much to be said in the bible about anger, just read through the book of Proverbs! But ultimately it leads to strife and death if given to wrath. Read here on ways to control your anger and keep those feelings in check when they arise.
God Bless on your journey to wholeness!