Anger & Your Relationships
Anger always affects your relationships, especially with those who matter most to you. The greater your anger, the greater the potential for long-lasting negative impact. It simply isn’t possible to work in harmony with another person, set goals, or accomplish anything if one or both people in a relationship harbor anger. A marriage will suffer greatly if it’s present. Anger disrupts family life and interferes with parent-child relationships. A work group will not be as productive or creative if one or more members is angry. A church will not minister effectively if it’s filled with angry people.
A man argued with me one day, saying, “My anger doesn’t hurt anyone. If they get hurt, it’s because they choose to be hurt. If they don’t want to hear my angry words, they can walk away.”
That isn’t really a valid argument. No one can totally tune out another person’s tirade. You may choose not to take to heart the other person’s anger. But you cannot avoid having to deal with it in some way. Outbursts of anger cause everyone within range to feel some degree of emotional pain, whether it’s intended or not.
Anger is an extremely powerful emotion. It can destroy lives, tear relationships apart, and ruin a believer’s witness. The apostle Paul understood the negative potential of resentment, and he offered this advice on how to deal with it: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).
When we’re in the middle of tense situations, Paul’s recommendations may seem unrealistic and impractical. But unless we apply his advice, we could easily face the devastating consequences of uncontrolled anger.
We have a choice. We can let our anger control us—which means we opt to suffer the consequences. Or we can release this debilitating emotion by not allowing it to gain the upper hand in our lives, affecting our relationships along the way.
Prayerfully ask the Father to help you identify causes of anger in your life, and bring each of them before Him. Trust that He will empower you to overcome these sources of strife. Read Ephesians 4:31-32 once more, and let the truth of God’s Word empower and strengthen you.
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