ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Is Your Anger Off The Hook?

Updated on August 30, 2016
What is the message? And what do you need to do about it?
What is the message? And what do you need to do about it?

Anger is not a "nice" emotion. As Christians, we do have an idea that we shouldn't get angry, and we should turn the other cheek (Matt 5:39). Scripture tells us anger is for fools (Job 5:2, Prov 14:17, Ecc 7:9); that we should be slow to anger (Prov 14:29, Prov 15:18, Prov 16:32), and that anger might even kill us (Prov 5:2). We might tell ourselves: but we're human! We're going to feel angry, so what are we supposed to do? Ignore it, or stuff it? Just what do we do with our anger?

Anger is a God given emotion because we are a mirrors of our Creator, and we know that God feels anger too (more about this later). Where we run into trouble as Christians is when we don’t process our anger in healthy way; instead, we stuff it, explode, or act out in some other (displaced) way. It's bewildering; we can have such good intentions to deal with our anger in a Biblical way, but fail to achieve our objective. Why is this? One difficulty is when we don't know why we are so angry. Or maybe we know, but our anger is disproportionate to what is going on. What is our anger really trying to tell us? And what do we need to do about it?

Anger can be a motivator to take positive action. Some of us might feel like we need our anger, perhaps to set a much-needed boundary, or motivate someone to stop behaving a certain way. What is sometimes hard to see, is that we can't be effective if stay angry. Anger is like a ringing telephone. If we stay angry, it's like the phone is off the hook - notifying us in an annoying way that we need to hang it up; we won't hear the message above the noise. Our anger is a message that something is amiss and we need to take action. Once the message has been heard, we need to hang up the phone (let go of the anger), or we can't be effective; but how? Most of us have never learned how to do this. How do we turn off the anger in a healthy non-destructive way?

If we stay angry, we are leaving the phone off the hook…beep, beep, beep. We don’t have to leave the phone off the hook (stay angry) to get what we need. We must hang up the phone and examine the message to be effective. What is the message trying to tell us? What is the underlying message? What has it triggered in us? Did someone cross our boundary? Is this an old message that is no longer true about us? Is the message distorted? Is this message from the Enemy?

Where did we get the idea that we have to stay angry to get what we want? From childhood? From Television? Movies? To be effective in getting our needs met, and deal with our anger in a healthy way we need to: pick up the phone, listen to the message, hang-up the phone, (stop feeling angry), examine the message, and figure out what we need to do to take care of ourselves.

Prayer is how we hang up the phone. When we can step back, take a deep breath and reach out to the One who knows how we feel, Who listens to us, Who is there for us - good or bad, and talk to Him about what's really going on; the anger starts to drain away. One useful model for dealing with anger comes from Melody Beattie’s book, Codependent No More. What follows is based on her formula, with some "recovery" adages and Biblical truths mixed in:

1) When you notice you are angry, step back; remove yourself from what you are reacting to, physically if you have to. Make sure that you are safe.

2) Examine what has happened? Did someone violate our boundaries? Were our needs not met? Are we responding to old tapes (from childhood)? What just happened here - is it really as important as it seemed? Is it the end of the world, or just sad and disappointing? Do we need to set a Godly boundary? Is this a problem we can solve? Is now a good time to solve it? Is this a hill we want to die on? What is the stronghold (deep underlying thought about our situation, which may be ancient history repeating itself)?

3) We must ask ourselves: What do we need to do to take care of ourselves? Do we need to pray about releasing this? Do we need to have a heart to heart talk? Do we need to set a Godly boundary? Do we need to go for a walk? Beat the bed with our pillows? Have a good cry? Journal about it? Call someone for support? Read our Bible?

4) Launch into action: Pray and ask God for direction. If this is not a problem we can solve, or now is not a good time to solve it, or we don’t want to die on this hill: let Go, and let God take care of it. We need to radically accept that we are powerless over this situation or this person, and it's God's job to work on this person or situation or even to get vengeance (Ro 12:19). If the answer is: yes, we can solve this problem now, we may need to have that heart to heart talk, and set a boundary; perhaps we will have to have a good cry first, and just go to sleep for the night and see if all is not better in the morning.

As to long standing resentments, well, we can pray for these individuals daily; pray that they may have love, peace, prosperity, and a personal relationship with Jesus. We can pray that God softens their hearts, every day for several days. The surprising thing is that often, God softens our heart and we no longer feel this burning resentment. We can look to God as a model for how He handled anger; when He should have been very mad, He often turned away and forgave us instead (Ps 78:38, Is 12:1, Is 48:9, Jer 3:12, Jer 32:37, Hos 14:4). Ultimately, He gave his only Son to forgive our transgression so that we could be reconciled to Him!

Wait until our mind is clear and our heart is calm before we take any action. Remember how much we are loved by the Creator of the universe, and pray for the fruits of the spirit: Love, peace, long-suffering, kindness, gentleness and self-control. Set our mind on things above (Col 3:2-4), and know that God will help us, if we ask.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MariSpirit profile image

      Mari Young 

      2 years ago from Long Beach

      Wow that is well put and thank you for all the tools to take action!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)