When you feel angry with someone or something, do you express your feelings … or do you hold the anger inside? People who bury their anger usually believe they are doing the right thing by appearing calm on the outside. The reality, however, is that unresolved anger can fester and develop into resentment, bitterness, or even depression.
Some people respond to anger by immediately holding it in, but then releasing it or letting it go a short time later without hurting themselves or others. When we handle our feelings like this, the results are often beneficial. But if you tend to hold your anger inside and grow resentful, ask God to help you share your angry feelings with people as they occur. Not in a rage or with unkind words … just an honest expression of your feelings.
The Bible teaches that we shouldn’t carry anger overnight. Get it settled before going to bed. Otherwise, it is likely that resentment will begin to grow. We see various passages in the Bible where God and Jesus expressed their anger or displeasure.
As we discussed yesterday, anger is just a God-given warning system … letting us know when a real or potential problem exists. Until you actually do something about the underlying problem, your brain will continue to, thankfully, warn you. Not addressing the problem is what allows anger to grow, fester, and either overflow and come out in harmful ways, or be directed inward leading to real negative self-talk, low self-image, depression, isolation, self-loathing, and a whole list of battles against ourselves.
Perhaps you are already experiencing bitterness because of past unexpressed grievances. The answer … Acknowledge the hurt … Forgive or ask for forgiveness … Then address and solve the original problem your anger warned about. You won’t have to try so hard to let go of the anger … because, when the problem is resolved, that original anger will go away.
Holding on to bitterness can damage your relationship with God, relationships with others, and your peace of mind. It even harms your health, especially your heart, blood pressure, digestive system, and brain chemistry. Being a problem solver, and forgiving and being forgiven can change all that. Ask God … He will help you.
Today, notice if someone is angry. Ask them, “You seem angry or upset. There must be some problem that your anger is warning you about. Can I help you work or solve that problem?” You can ask the same to yourself as well. WITHIN REACH helps you understand and utilize these negative feelings to be a great decision-maker.
Dear Father God, forgive me and help me deal with this resentment I have been carrying. Give me the strength and wisdom to acknowledge the hurt, control my anger, identify and solve the underlying issue, and forgive and move forward. Thank You for the wonderful way You designed me. Help me understand that design better so I can be a great steward of my mind and free will by using my emotions in the way You designed. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the best mirror for my eye exam, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many