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Making Me Angry

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” – Ephesians 4:25-27

“He’s making me so angry!”

“She made me mad yesterday.”

We’ve all used this kind of language. We tend to miss that these statements signal that we have adopted a victim mentality. We shifted the responsibility for our happiness onto others. We see no other way but anger after what they did or what they said.  We use anger to regain control, but reality is that we have ceded control of our happiness to others.

In reality, no one can make us angry. People and circumstances do things that trigger a reaction in us. But the choice of how to respond belongs to us.

The circumstance does not make us angry. It does not have that control. The circumstance simply provides a prompt. The resulting anger or frustration is a signal that a choice needs to be made. But emotions have no business making choices. Choosing is something we should do based on our purpose and values.

The emotion is an alarm, letting us know our values have been pressed and a choice needs to be made. It’s not the person or the circumstance that actually makes us angry. It is the internal value(s) within us that feel threatened. It is a result of what matters to us, what we’ve experienced, and the purpose we are living toward.

We need a true perspective about our anger. We need to acknowledge our emotion. Then we make choices based on values rather than emotions. Time is of the essence, “before the sun goes down.” It’s in our prompt and purposeful action that we can avoid our anger leading into sin.

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