Anger: Give In or Overcome?

{this post is part of Five-Minute Friday at Lisa-Jo Baker}

How it works: Write on one word for five minutes. No editing. {All the details for how to play along are here.}

Today’s word: Small…

{Go}

Anger.

It starts small. I can feel it though I cannot quite describe the feeling.

It is part physical, a tension in my muscles, in my jaw, as I clench my teeth, in my breath, as it comes in shortened bursts.

And it builds.

If I am not careful. If I do not pause. If I do not take a moment. If I do not turn away from what would likely be deemed the trigger for my anger, it will grow. It will grow beyond my control.

Or will it?

Is anger ever really out of my control?

I used to think so. But I think that was my way of rationalizing an otherwise irrational emotion. I think that was my way of justifying my out of control behavior. But I had the choice. I made the choice.

I chose to give in to the anger.

I chose to give the devil his foothold. The one he creeps around looking to take. Like the lion looking to devour and destroy.

photo by Sias van Schalkwyk

photo by Sias van Schalkwyk

Nothing has taught me more about this emotion, about this response in me, like parenting.

And I cannot deny that I have been guilty too often of letting my anger loose in big moments and small ones. And I cannot deny that I have been guilty of thinking myself justified or that I have given myself an out: anger is how my depression manifests itself or anger is a symptom of something bigger.

Something beyond me.

But it’s not. Not really.

And I cannot deny that I have been forgiven.

Every time. By God. By my children. By my husband.

But it’s taken a long time and no small effort for me to forgive myself.

Anger.

It starts out small.

And it is in that moment that I must choose.

It is in that moment that I must pause.

It is in that moment that I must close the gap that creates the foothold. That I must turn and flee. From the anger. From the devil. From the rote response.

It is in that moment that I must run — into the arms of my heavenly Father and seek his face.

And give myself permission to choose. Differently.

To overcome.

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3 thoughts on “Anger: Give In or Overcome?

  1. interrobangkjl says:

    I love how you remind us that our anger is a choice, and usually it isn’t as big as it becomes once we make the choice to give in. Great post!

    • judith heaney says:

      Thank you for taking time to read and comment. It was a post intended to remind me of that very truth. Sometimes I like to ignore the fact that it’s a choice. But God is pretty good about convicting me otherwise

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