People tell me I should avoid anger because it is the soul’s poison. I would agree with them, echoing my agreement over the correctness of the wise saying. Nevertheless, as fate would deem it as timely, I was unfortunate enough to overlook trusted biblical principles that should have helped me avoid my own failure: falling into the trap of an all-consuming anger.
“Their anger is as deadly as the poison of a snake. They shut their ears like a deaf cobra.”Psalm 58:4. (ERV)
From Psalm 58:4 I am able to understand that anger is fatal. It makes one heedless of the inherent danger. The element of urgency that empowers it demands an immediate antidote to counter its destructiveness. In the absence of the antidote, only a miracle can save the situation. Heedless anger will consume its course regardless of the possible or imminent danger to the wielder of this threat.
“Your anger is hurting no one but you.”Job 18:4a. (ERV)
From Job 18:4 I am able to understand that anger hurts both its wielder and the receiver. I am a physical non-violent person. My anger hurts the receiver in the psychological sense, not in the physical sense. I do not strike blows. Instead, I cut off communication. This is tantamount to making the receiver feel the deadness of our relationship where I am concerned. It denies the personhood of the receiver. No blows landed and caused bruises but the heart and mind of the receiver should sense the disconnection. Does the receiving party even felt some sting from the disconnection? It so happens that lately I have learned to assume that the disconnection was sensed but a psychological-wound’s-sting is non-existent. Instead, it is a sting to the pride that is perceived as being challenged; a sting to the self-sense of special privilege that is being questioned. The receiver of the anger will raise some protective rage because their self-perceived supremacy received a blow.
On my part, I mourn for the death of a relationship because for me it is a real death. It is a dead deadness, a nothingness, the void of having no faith in God. It is a personal tragedy. It hurts my spirit. It diminishes the fire of life that burns in my soul. It is deadlier than the hand blow.
As I was relating earlier, I fell into the anger trap. I would like to excuse myself, though, by appealing to THE reason—I was wronged. I was robbed, disrespected, disregarded, taken for granted, and abused. Not once. Not twice. Not tree times. But again and again and again—more than seventy times seven.
The back of the camel broke because of the last straw. That was very unfortunate. The camel’s back lacked the strength to carry that last single straw. How tragic!
“God shows his anger from heaven against all the evil and wrong things that people do.”Romans 1:18a. (ERV)
However, unlike the Creator who wields all power and who owns all things, my righteous anger did not spare me from the repercussions of the deadly reaction to evil.
My blood boiled and my heart pumped extra life-support fluids to my overworked central nervous system. For hours on end my flesh was fighting for the calm stability that it’s used to. And so the only way to keep my system functioning in sync was to increase my energy-providing processes. My spirit could handle the aberrations but my physical body was begging for placid steadiness.
Obviously, anger prevents a restful state of the human consistency. Anger forces the body to work overtime. Anger is a killing machine.
So, I, Nancy, concluded that anger has its acceptable reasons, but it is not intended as a permanent fixture of the human body. We are not created to be angry many times in our lifetime. Anger is a luxury for when a wrong has been committed against a person. It is not a means to force a certain reality to take place. It is not a human being’s source of power.
“Do you think this world was made for you alone? Do you think God should move mountains just to satisfy you?”Job 18:4b. (ERV)
Nevertheless, the processing of anger in the spiritual level must exempt the physical level. True, this is very difficult to achieve, yet it has been done by the multitudes who have to face abuses and trespasses against their personhood.
My anger, my protection against violations to my humanity, will be relegated to a venue where it can be resolved and where it will help in the healing of my nervous system—to coax back my memory cells from the realms of fright and shocked horror.
Anger is capable of hurting both the person who wields it and the person at the receiving end. My self-resolution of the personal protest which manifested as anger will serve as:
(1.) A clarificatory gauge or a warning mark to show the severity of the suffered violations, and so may guard against the perpetuation on an ongoing abuse;
(2.) An assurance to the physical body that the threat is being dismantled and so will not be capable anymore of creating havoc in the normalcy of the body systems’ interrelated pacing.
Since I’m not the Creator, since I have no jurisdiction over all things, then I will not assume that I can wield my anger in any which way to please myself—this is the devil’s lie which opens the door to danger, allowing my anger to destroy me.
Instead, I will use it as a shield to protect myself from the deceitfulness of those who only wish me harm. Amen.
-By guest author Nancy Lam, giving a glimpse of how messages from the Bible can help victims of abuse and similar phenomena to cope and eventually heal.-