Saturday, March 16, 2013

Anger & fear

My counselor explained to me that anger is a 'protective' emotion. Everyone gets angry - either when someone does something that you don't like, or something that hurts you, or hurts someone else, or whatever. There is nothing wrong with getting angry. We get angry to protect ourselves, or someone else. Problems arise depending on how we handle our anger, or what we do with it. So we have to ask ourselves, when we get angry, why exactly are we angry? Because anger overlaps a fear of something. A fear of someone getting hurt (including ourselves), a fear of change, a fear of the unknown... something. So the thing is, when I get angry, what am I ultimately afraid of? Am I afraid people don't like me; am I afraid someone doesn't know what they're doing and they will get hurt; am I afraid things will get out of control (for ourselves or someone else); or what???

What is interesting is that God may very well be trying to teach us something through our anger. For instance, if we get angry because someone does something that hurts another, it is good to be angry, but ultimately we are afraid of what it might do to the other. It very well may be that God is trying to teach this person something, and our right response should be to trust God and to trust the Holy Spirit working in that persons life. It would be the same if someone did something to us that made us angry. God may be trying to teach us something; or even the person who made us angry. So we need to learn to embrace what we are afraid of, and trust God. Just think what we might be like if we were no longer afraid... or angry.

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