This message is to the angry, from the heart of someone who’s been angry…
I’m won’t lie, I didn’t really want get on this subject because I knew that I would have to deal with myself and some issues of my own heart. Lord knows I’ve been fighting it. But here it is now:
“Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people.” Proverbs 22:24 (NLT)
That scripture cut deep within me because I recently realized that I actually love to listen to angry people vent, rage and rant. And it’s not because I’m entertained by their frustrations, or their pain and neither is that I approve of what they would say or do. It’s just that when I listen to that anger being poured out, when they talk the way that they do – letting off all the bitterness, hate, rage, resentment – I think like, “I feel that way a lot! I can relate to you! Keep expressing yourself. Give me some more of that! I wish that I could release and go off like that.”
Of course I know that I probably shouldn’t be feeling like that or even thinking that way; but it is what it is though. I get angry. I just don’t speak my mind because I don’t know how to keep from sounding like a threat to whoever I might address… So, I like to keep it to myself, while CONSTANTLY praying and writing out my feelings on the matter until I feel like I’m okay.
But truth is, scripture tells me not to deal with angry people. Personally, I believe it’s mainly because it might rub off on me one day if I’m not careful to guard my heart and mind.
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19 (NLT)
Angry people say everything they want to say (if they’re not an introvert) and everything I won’t say. They justify every reason for why they are hurting, angry and won’t forgive – and I feel like I wann’a be the same way sometimes. If I’m honest, I would love to be able to hold grudges and all that. Real talk. People do/say some really inconsiderate and messed up things. People have caused me some serious pain.
Sometimes, I passionately want revenge on the people who have wronged me… I don’t like letting stuff go all the time… I honestly feel like people are often getting away with a crime when the can wrong me without consequence (without me getting back at them). Being humble and turning the other cheek all the time makes me feel like I’m losing without putting up a fight. And that feeling sucks… But, I’ve also learned that vengeance is God, and He does take care of things better than I can. I’ve watched Him do it.
Something I’ve recently paid more attention to is that angry people have so much passion behind their anger; they’re very passionate. Like, you will feel them from the moment they begin to speak, if you’re really listening. All the emotions that they express set the atmosphere.
Majority are still angry because they feel unheard and will continue to be angry until their voice is heard. And I know that feeling all too well. I can’t express myself that way though. I can’t lash out like that. But when I listen to them, they speak volumes of how I really feel sometimes. So I like listening to them because they speak for me… And I say that I can’t speak or lash out like them because I know that if I was to get started, I wouldn’t know how to stop. I’d end up spewing out things of the past and present – possibly ruin so many things because I gave in to my anger.
“And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself – people can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:6-8 (NLT)
That scripture is enough reason for why I won’t fix my mouth to say some things I would love to say [out of anger] and get it all off my chest. But there’s another one – and it’s the reason I’m writing this message; “Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.” Proverbs 29:11 (NLT)
Proverbs 29:11 hit me in a couple areas.
Lately I’ve been wondering if I have just been a pushover or if I’ve really been doing what’s best to keep from ‘causing chaos around me. Because I’ve held my tongue a lot more in these past few months than I ever really have in my life. I’ve been one to just let folks have a piece of my mind. I haven’t done that lately though… Has it been easy to keep this stuff to myself? Heck no. But reading Proverbs 29:11 made me feel wiser that I thought I was. I was comforted by that because regardless of what the next person says about me just allowing people to say and do anything to me, I know that God is pleased with my choice to stay silent and be humble. And that’s all that matters to me. My meekness is not weakness and I’m saved, not soft.
Now, the next thing that really got to me is the fact that I took pleasure in listening to others vent their full rage and did not stand in the gap to pray with/for them, encourage or even try help them find a solution to whatever the issue is/was. I was too busy getting my feel of rage that I forgot to give them the gospel and share the truth about anger, healing and forgiveness. I knew better too. That’s what gets me the most.
So realizing all of that, I’ve chosen to repent and start over… I wann’a do it right this time. I won’t just listen to be fueled, but listen to give good, godly counsel.
I can remember, before I got saved, how angry I was. Man, I was angry at life itself. So I lashed out on anybody I wanted to and fought because I enjoyed it. I’ve even had my share of being picked on, called names, being the center of jokes and looked down on. It was fun to them, but not to me.
People thought that I was weak because I wouldn’t say or do anything back – so I started fighting any chance I got to, just to try to prove them otherwise. I lost some, I won some. But those losses only made me want to fight more… They fueled my rage.
I’ve had my share of feeling abandoned, being let down and forsaken by those I loved. I’ve felt betrayal, broken trust – all of it. The rejection, the feeling of being neglected and being abused in ways I won’t speak of. I was an angry kid.
I had so many reasons to be/remain angry… But once I got saved and I grew in Christ, I found more reasons to strive to love regardless of what’s been done and share that same grace that’s been poured out on me. It’s not always as easy to let go of some things. Some are tougher than others… But it’s as hard as we make it if we’re not really striving to let go and forgive… God sees our efforts and he knows our hearts. He is there to help us if we really sincere about being free. To all my angry people, to those I’ve listened to and even those I haven’t had the chance to hear yet, and those I might listen to in the future, there is healing for you. You might not feel that way right now, but I’m a living witness, there’s healing.
I have been strengthened to forgive the unforgivable things [that have happened to me] and let go of some stuff that I really wanted to hold on to. It’s all because of God though. There’s no way that I could have survived what I’ve been through, without Him strengthening me. I would not be able to forgive and let go of those things without His strength working through me. I tried it on my own before, it doesn’t work. It never will.
You might say that you can’t, but you can. Jesus did it and still does it, I did it and still strive to do it – so can you. You might say that no one understands, well let me eliminate that right now; “So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:14-16 (NLT)
There are no excuses… Especially for the saints.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down (anger), especially the sin that so easily trips us up (bitterness/resentment/grudges/unforgiveness). And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility He endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.” Hebrews 13:1-4 (NLT)
If you’re not willing to surrender your pain to God, then you’re not hurt [like you say you are] enough to [want to] heal… And in that case, get over yourself. Straight up.
I’ve been that fool. It’s not a good place to be.
I would swear my pain was so deep, but I didn’t wann’a heal because all I really wanted to do was be angry. I felt like was in control; like I had some type of power because I had a bad attitude. I wanted somebody to feel my wrath. Anybody could get it if they tested me. But that’s foolishness. It got me nowhere.
I’ve even been in a place where I was striving for attention, using my “anger issues”.
I loved hearing people talk about how wild I was. Hearing my name on people’s mouths was like the greatest accomplishment in the world, to me. On top of everything else, I really wanted to show people that they shouldn’t mess with me.
To me, always being angry (having “anger issues”) was a good enough reason for lashing out and being foolish. I was full of excuses… Today, I look back and I’m like, “Man, I was petty”. Please, don’t be petty. If you know you can be free, be free! If you know better, strive to do better. You don’t want that hate, bitterness and stuff to really get a grip on you. It’s really not worth it. Trust me.
If you’re really hurt, if you’re really angry, then this message is for you. There is healing for your soul. You just have to surrender and embrace it.
“Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, He has identified you as His own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:20-27, 29-32 (NLT)
Final words: In the end, you’ll only be hurting yourself and holding yourself back if you choose to hold grudges and remain angry with people who have probably moved on with their lives.
God has so much in store for you, but if you keep your fists closed, holding on to the past and the pain, He cannot give you the healing and the future that He has for you. Please, I encourage you; let it go.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
You will not receive that if you won’t let go. Again, it’s only as hard as you and I make it…
Last but not least, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT)
I pray that the truth will set you all free today.
I’m praying for you.