Anger has the power to crush spirits and relationships in an instant. Here’s what usually boils down when a person is under the influence of anger; A trigger is going to take place. After that, this person feels a temporary yet strong emotion of antagonism towards what the other has said or done. In an instant, words that cannot be taken back, insults that cannot be forgotten, and hearts that are crushed are made in just a passing moment of anger. This is why it is important to learn how to control and let go of anger.
Relationships, stress management, promises, self-image, and health, face a nearly irreversible threat by a minute’s passing of anger. Additionally, there are multiple studies that prove how dangerous anger can be to a person’s life, health, and relationships. Ephesians 4:26 tells us not to allow the sun to go down on our anger. Meaning, we have to let go of anger the moment we receive it. But, can a person completely suppress anger? Absolutely! Eliminating anger means smiling more, loving more, and living more. Therefore, it is highly important that we master the art of releasing anger.
The Danger And Degrees of Anger
Just like most emotions, anger has its degrees you should watch out for. It is very important to acknowledge the level of anger you are experiencing. See, the degree we are experiencing describes the extent of the actions we might do or the words we spill out of anger. Here are its levels and what you should do to overcome them.
Stage One: Annoyance
Put simply, annoyance is a stage where someone gets irritated or slightly offended. This phase is common to almost everyone. Definitely, there are words or actions that offend us. As a result, we get this common feeling of being irked or mocked. While this is lighter than the other degrees of anger, the state of being annoyed is actually the first step to lethal anger towards a person.
When we feel annoyance towards a person, prejudice grows and relationships break. It takes a minute to get annoyed by someone yet, it takes years to constantly cling on this person’s image as someone who annoyed you. For instance, if someone felt annoyance towards his or her friend for seven years, this person will no longer focus on the friendship they shared for years. Instead, this person will fixate his attention on that tiny moment of annoyance.
Basically, what makes annoyance dangerous isn’t seen in an instant. However, if a person clings to that state of being irked, this annoyance will turn into a grudge. Also, it harms relationships in a way that a person is never going to see their friends or family the same way without being reminded of that one time they were annoyed. With that being said, it is important to eliminate annoyance before it eliminates the bonds God has blessed us with.
The Cure: Understanding
Being able to learn how to let go of anger starts with the ability of understanding before reacting. Proverbs 18:2 reminds us of how fools never understand but, only express in opinions. Whenever we are faced with words or actions that offend us, it is important to ask why we’re offended in the first place. Sometimes, we get annoyed only as an initial reaction to statements or gestures that are considered a “taboo” for most of us. So, do give it time to think as to why you’re really upset by something.
Now, it is easier said than done, especially if you are genuinely affected by the context of their statement or gestures. If this is the case, it is better to approach that person immediately and express what you are feeling. This is better than keeping all the negative thoughts and possible grudges for later. Still, understanding a person is better than growing anger towards them. This is expressed in Proverbs 14:29.
In situations like this, try the 10-second rule. At times when you feel annoyance, count from one to ten and then think of whether or not you are genuinely angered. After this duration, you will feel that the feeling is just an instant, short-lived reaction. But, if ten seconds have passed and you’re still consistent with what you are feeling, approaching or confronting it is the best way of letting go of it.
Stage Two: Frustration
This goes beyond being uncomfortable or irritated towards something or someone. Frustration carries a strong sense of bitterness towards something that’s unchangeable. For instance, if a woman feels frustration over her husband. The feeling is less likely to pass because the aspect of her husband she finds anger to is nearly unchangeable. As a mere example, let’s say an art professor fails a student for her output. Being “annoyed” is too shallow, she’d be frustrated because she cannot change the views of this professor towards her output.
Frustration is a dangerous type of anger. It makes a person dislike something someone cannot easily change or control. For example. if a parent feels frustration over their daughter’s test results despite her trying her best, this parent can throw words that can permanently trouble the child’s heart and ambitions. If a person finds out that his or her loved ones feel frustration towards them, their spirits can be easily crushed.
See, frustration is a strong classification of anger. In fact, being frustrated over someone drains the compassion, hope, and respect you have for a person. Many times, when someone is frustrated, it is very easy to let go of painful and degrading words because this emotion will make you ignore all the good qualities this person possesses. If you are the recipient of frustration, this type of anger will make question your worth as a human being and that’s definitely not something you’d want others to feel!
The Cure: Take Or Release
In dealing with frustration, you have two options; to take or to release. By taking, this means that you release the anger by accepting the situation that you are given with. For example, if a friend has a quality you do not like. Instead of feeling frustration over something he or she cannot control, you start accepting and hoping the best for this person’s growth. Remember, humans, are constantly growing and learning from their mistakes. It is not our job to feed learning people with frustrations when we ourselves are still learning too. Learn how to be a patient and understanding person instead of being drowned with meaningless frustrations. If a person frustrates you, give them time as only God can direct their ways (Proverbs 16:9). They will learn that in God’s perfect timing, frustration is a waste of energy!
Next, if you find it hard to accept something, release it (Colossians 3:8). Sometimes, we need to stop fixating our attention and energy on things we cannot change, especially if this includes a characteristic a person has. As stated before, only God can direct a person. Therefore, we hold no power to change a person’s character when that person is still learning and growing too. It is easier to let go of this anger and accept that in that person’s season, he or she is still learning.
Stage Three: Hostility
If a person keeps their annoyance or frustration settled in their hearts, hostility will form. This is an explosive form of anger that is a result of built-up grudges and unsettled emotions. However, this type of anger will not form if a person addresses it the moment he or she feels it. Now, what does the Bible say about this? James 1:20 describes that an angry person cannot produce righteousness. And this is true- When we are hostile, we have this dark intention of projecting our anger towards a person due to the emotions we should have eliminated earlier. If we are hostile, it is a given that nothing good will come out of our minds and mouths.
The dangerous part of hostility is how it clouds up a person’s compassion towards another. When we release harsh words and gestures out of hostility, our anger lies to us into thinking that we have to hurt that person as much as they hurt us. It’s not necessarily vengeance but, a hostile person is so controlled by his anger that he will have this desire to inflict what has been inflicted. Various studies have shown that the danger of having hostility can leave pain both physically and mentally.
The Cure: Forgiveness
When a person is blazing with anger, forgiveness sounds like the last thing they’d want to do. But, forgiveness alone is one of the best and quickest way of mastering the art of how to let go of anger, to let go and let God. Think of the bigger picture, if you were to release all your anger and let go of harsh words towards someone you love, your actions will not only break your relationship but, break the spirit of the person you love. Wouldn’t it be better to go in the opposite direction? Sure, it sounds nearly impossible to forgive someone who angers you, especially if this person didn’t even ask for an apology but, is it really worth releasing words that can harm and break a person? Is it really worth wrecking relationships for something that is instantly cured by forgiveness?
Here’s the thing, do not see forgiveness as a weak option for it is actually a strong option. If someone upsets or offends you greatly, forgive them for the sake of your mental peace and your connection with God. Forgiving others equates to God forgiving you too (Luke 6:37). When you are in a situation where you want to inflict pain over someone you dislike, ask yourself this question – “Is this worth God’s forgiveness? Is this worth God’s favor? Is this worth my spiritual and mental being?”. The wise option is to forgive, not for others but, for yourself. If you do not like the idea of being caged in your anger, learn to forgive.
Stage Four: Extreme Anger
This is the most severe stage among all the phases of anger. In this, a person can do violent actions, threatening gestures, and excessive cursing. At this point, a person has little to zero control of themselves. If hostility is not solved and their negative thoughts are not addressed for a long time, a person is bound to feel rage. There many instances where people lose their loved ones to their extreme anger. But again, was it really worth it?
Anger is more than just an emotion. Usually, emotions like sadness or excitement don’t bring harm to other people but, anger does (Matthew 5:22). Aside from the punishment God has for people that are always angry, there is a curse to this emotion that’s instantly felt the moment they unravel threatening violence and baneful words – Loss.
Being enraged takes and takes without ever giving. Think about it, no one has ever gone mad and obtained anything good. Anger makes you lose your friends, families, opportunities, memories, and most importantly, yourself. If a person keeps on losing to anger, they will never win. This is why in the Bible, God constantly reminds us of the consequences of anger and sin because He knows the many things we’ll lose if we are constantly angry.
The Cure: Insight
The moment you start feeling enraged, step back and think. Do not allow a single word to come out of your mouth since a person that’s enraged cannot say anything nice. Remember that if you are feeling a tingling sensation of anger, the person you currently are isn’t the person you actually are. At times like this, you need to be stronger and more insightful as to what is happening. Your mind needs to be present but, your heart needs to be looking in the future.
When you feel like lashing out on a person, remember that Your Creator lovingly made you with nothing but genuine care and adoration. God loves you and He has not planted a single strand of hate in your heart. Therefore, the person you are when you angry isn’t the person God has made you be. So, be stronger and fight this illusion anger has made for you. You are the mirror of your Maker and your Maker is loving, compassionate, tender-hearted, forgiving, and understanding (Ephesians 4:31-32). Understand this with all your heart and anger will be replaced with God’s Presence.
How To Let Go Of Anger: The Cure of God
There are many solutions in answering how to let go of anger. Some present physical remedies while others offer tools to somehow succor anger. But, the core of how to permanently stop anger is based on finding a remedy that’s not only quick to respond but, also permanent. This solution has always been with us and it is no other than the Lord Almighty who watches over us 24/7. We need to let go and let God. Here are some reminders you can take note of the next time you feel angry.
God Has Made Life Beautifully
From the kind of laughter that makes our stomachs hurt to the sensation of tasting chocolate cake to the smile on your loved one’s face, God has made life beautiful. God’s great plans for us to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11). But, anger makes us blind to all these vivid and colorful surprises. When we are angry, we fixate too much to the point that we lose track of the blessings right in front of us. Our blessings can be in the form of our friends, families, and even failures. But, anger makes all of these look like curses.
Life Is Short
The statement “life is short” seems to have a negative connotation around it. But, if we use this positively, we’ll understand. Life is too short and too beautiful to waste on grudges and anger. An angry person can forgive in five seconds and live happily and productively for the next twenty-four hours. Meanwhile, a person who decides to give in to anger will lose not a day but, months or even years just to lose more of the relationships and peace they should’ve had instead of the bitterness they are feeling.
Leave It To God
When we decide to commit and leave everything in the hands of God, we shouldn’t limit ourselves. May it be a positive or negative thing like anger, we should leave it to God. Romans 12:19 tells us about how vengeance is the Lord’s. Do not be caught up in wanting to bring sorrow over a person. We, as humans, cannot do that.
If we insist on doing what we want, the only thing that’s increasing are our sins. Definitely, this is not something you’d want. Leave it to God. Only He knows what needs to happen and trust Him – He sees all the pain and hears all the cries your heart has. God never fails to deliver so, do your part in letting go of anger so you may live your life better.
Truly, anger is a strong emotion but, we have to make ourselves stronger. Everything in our life happens out of God’s pure intentions of allowing us to enjoy our lives and expand our growth. Anger, however, hinders this from happening. So, it is very important and useful to master the art of how to let go of anger. It is a skill set we should be able to achieve. Living without anger means living with peace. Keep this in mind and hopefully, everyone gets to live free from the chains of bitterness.