Thursday, June 23, 2005

Anger, Part Two

In order to be set free from a nagging kind of anger, I believe we have to get deep-down, gut-level honest.

"Confess your faults one to another and be healed..."

There is a good kind of anger and a bad kind. The good type alerts us to the fact that we (or others) are being mistreated and something constructive needs to be done to remedy that. The bad kind of anger? A type of monster--not always loud and vocal, but silent and seething, too-- who bites at our very souls.

The latter is the one I'm writing about here. And there is only one cure for it: we must allow God to shine His spotlight upon it so that we can see the monster exposed and how we, ourselves, have fed him his two favorite morsels: Control and Unforgiveness. Oh, he has other favorite foods, but I believe those are the two he craves.

Control--People who must always feel as though they are in control are the ones most susceptible to anger. Why? Because in this world, that sense of control is constantly challenged. Life and people are forever in a state of change, so control-hungry people are forever fighting against that change. Their goal? To make people and situations obey them, but it's like holding sand in their hands--and sand eventually disappears when winds of change come bearing down upon them. And the winds are always swirling.

Unforgiveness--Usually it crouches down inside a heart's darkest places and believes itself to be hidden.  The physical body can escape only so long and then it will have to succumb to the knife of unforgiveness and the wounds are often blamed on everything under the sun, but not that very knife.

How does God shine His spotlight? How does He let us know He is ready to work on an area of our lives so that we can be set free? For everyone, the ways are not the same, but here are some I've seen Him use:

If He's wanting to work on our need for control:

Suddenly all that we think we are controlling shifts, rather like the plates beneath the ground in an earthquake.
Our supposed control is challenged and broken on every side and we find ourselves in a constant state of trying to glue it all back together.
We turn around and poof! There's another sermon about control.
People start handing us books written about control or those titles jump out at us when we visit a bookstore or library.
We come across blogs posts written about control.
We turn on the TV and they're talking about control or it's in movies we watch.
We find ourselves yelling a lot, flailing our arms and making a lot of noise because we are losing control or because we are not wanting to let God deal with it and are then finding ourselves utterly uncomfortable.

Have you ever been beneath that spotlight? I have, many in many different as well, areas God wanted to change in me.

Why does God want to change us? So we'll become more like Jesus. 

To react as He would so that we will be examples of wellness to a sick world. So that we not turn people away from Him, but to Him, instead. And for our own sake--to teach us the ways of a healthy spiritual, mental and physical way of living. 

He cares that things like unforgiveness not eat at us like a cancer. He cares that we live in wisdom--that we thrive in such a way that we make people question just where our source of Life and Hope and Peace and Love is coming from.

And it is all about Love--even when it doesn't feel that way at all.

The answer? Cooperate with God. 
When He shines the spotlight, don't turn it toward an 'easier area' we'd like to change. 
Don't deny what the light exposes. 
Confess our faults; it will bring healing. 
Take each step God asks of us, no matter how small or how silly it may appear to be. 
Then match our steps with His and He will walk us up the path to wholeness.


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