Many find the feeling of anger hard to express because of guilt that is associated with it. They may have been taught that anger is wrong. Some have been taught by their parents--as well as the church--that it is downright sinful to show anger.
Psalm 4:4 is often cited as proof that the Bible teaches that anger is sin. But to set the record straight, this often misquoted text does not say that anger is a sin. The text says, in your anger do no not sin. In other words, it is okay to show the God-given emotion of anger. It is not okay to sin when we do it. It is okay to let our anger out. It is not okay to hurt others or ourselves in the process.
When we release our anger there is potential to hurt others. Angry outbursts often wound innocent people. But keeping a tight lid on our anger is not the solution either. Keeping anger in is hurtful to ourselves. Many respected doctors are of the opinion that one of leading causes of depression, if not the leading cause, is not chemical unbalance, but unexpressed anger.
Mismanagement of anger has become epidemic in our culture as evidenced by road rage, school shootings, and domestic and child abuse. We witness daily the effects of mismanaged anger in sporting events, in politics, and on The Jerry Springer Show.
The reality is, anger is a legitimate emotion. We just need to find legitimate ways to express it.
Both one-on-one counseling and involvement in support groups provide safe places where we can process and express anger. I have also found prayer to be therapeutic.
I have often been angry before God. Sometimes I have been angry with God. And I have come to the conclusion that since He knows all things, certainly He is aware of every feeling I have, whether I express it or not. He simply wants me to be honest about it; to stop pretending that I'm not angry when my blood pressure and stress level indicate otherwise. I have come to discover that God can not only handle my fears, my sadness, and my insecurities, He can handle my anger. And honestly and openly expressing it before Him is often the very thing I need to do to diffuse it.
Our Heavenly Father wants what is best for His kids. It grieves Him to see us going through life with anger and its ugly offspring, bitterness and unforgiveness, ravaging our souls. We must let Him help us to rid our lives of all that is harmful to us and others. When all the debris is cleared away, He can then fill us with His incredible, incomprehensible peace.