Monday, November 30, 2009

Don't Stuff It

Some people deal with anger by suppressing it. They may do this because they have been taught it is wrong to express emotions that might cause conflict. Others want to appear successful at coping. Some just don't realize they have a lifetime habit of pushing down troublesome emotions.

"When I first got involved in a divorce recovery program, I didn't realize I was suppressing anger," admits Joe. "I thought that it was a sin to be angry, and I didn't want to displease the Lord in any way; then I realized that the Lord gives us justifiable anger. It's healthy to be angry."

Susan says, "At first I suppressed my anger because I was raised to believe that anger was not an appropriate way to express your frustrations. Then finally it broke. It came flying out. I had emotions and feelings that I never had experienced before, and they surprised me. I didn't realize that I could have that much rage and frustration inside my body."

Psalm 18 describes circumstances in which God showed righteous anger at David's enemies for what they were doing to David.

"The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he [God] was angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. . . . Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning. The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded" (Psalm 18:7-8, 12-13).

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