Help, God. I’m Really Mad!
Do you want to stay close to Jesus? Anger can be a real problem. It has a powerful negative effect on our bodies, minds, and spirits. If we are not careful, anger can lead to unforgiveness and bitterness, and drive us away from Jesus.
How anger affected my body, mind, and spirit
I didn’t think I had an anger problem…until I was tested recently. How could I overcome the repercussions of my anger and get back to Jesus? Only one thing seemed to help. It can help you, too, when you are tested.
“I am very, very angry, and I am going to write you up.”
My voice was shaking, and the woman on the other end of the phone knew that I meant business. She did her best to assure me that she would try to make things right.
What started it all
To be honest, this was not the first time I had gotten upset with her. For the past eleven months her agency has provided care for my elderly mother in my home. When she doesn’t do her job properly, it causes confusion and interruption of needed services, and a lot of stress for my husband and me.
Just two weeks earlier, I had written a long letter to her agency supervisor. And now we had another situation. This time, I allowed myself to give full vent to anger…
Do you think I was justified in becoming angry?
Yet, even if my anger was for a righteous cause, I still felt its powerful negative effects immediately on my body, mind, and spirit. My mind was besieged by the human tendency to re-play over and over the details of this woman’s wrongs. Waves of negative emotions washed over me, producing stress and other negative symptoms in my body.
I remembered God’s warning in Ephesians 4:26,27.
“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity (literally, a place)”.
I knew that anger could keep me from being close to Jesus. It could easily lead to unforgiveness and bitterness, and drive me away from my Lord (Mark 11:25; Hebrews 12:15). In my mind, I cried out, “Help, God. I’m really mad!”
The turning point
Calling to God for help was a turning point for me. Although God already knew everything that was going on, He was waiting for me to humble myself, to admit that I had a problem, and that I needed His help. Then He could give me grace (James 4:6).
James 4:6 says, “…God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Humility is the secret to drawing close to Jesus.
If we humble ourselves, if we confess our sins, God is “faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). If we humble ourselves and submit to God’s leadership, He will give us the power to obey His Word.
I Knew What God Says I Should Do With My Anger — But It Wasn’t Easy
I knew what God commands us to do when someone mistreats us. We are to bless them and pray for them (Luke 6:38). We are to forgive them. Then our Father in heaven will also forgive us our trespasses (Mark 11:25).
So here are the two things I did:
- Asked God to forgive me for not exercising self-control.
- Began to pray for the woman who had wronged me.
It wasn’t easy at first. It never is. Never.
Here’s what I prayed:
- First, that she would see her need for Jesus Christ and turn to Him.
- Then I prayed that she would feel God’s love.
- Next, I told God I forgave her, and I asked Him to forgive her.
- Finally, I asked God to bless her just as if she had cared about our situation and had performed her job well.
…And yet the moment kept playing in my mind
Whenever my mind tried to play a re-run of the woman’s wrongs, I prayed for her instead. As God had done in previous situations, He gradually changed my heart toward the wrongdoer. Soon I began to feel compassion toward the woman and actually felt like praying for her. Over the next several days, the anger disappeared.
I still felt that I needed to follow through and write another letter to her supervisor. But I was able to write with a clear mind, without anger.
During this process, I had assurance in my heart that I was drawing closer to Jesus. No root of unforgiveness or bitterness would separate me from Christ.
How about you? How have you seen God work in your heart when you cried out to Him for help and obeyed His Word? Let us know!
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