In this Issue
Feature Article: Dealing with Anger, Hurt and Resentment in a Healthy Way
Inspirational Women's Garden Club, Wednesday, June 25, 7 pm EST
- Dealing with Anger, Hurt and Resentment in a Healthy Way, Wed, June 25, 7 pm EST
Dealing with Anger, Hurt and Resentment in a Healthy Way
Conflict is part of our daily lives and often experienced regularly with those closest to us. Your spouse, your children, your manager at work, parents or siblings often are those with whom conflict is most apparent and most quickly generated. The friction of normal day-to-day life brings out both the best and the worst in us all at times.
Anger is nothing new, and something that is recorded as early as Genesis 4. In the story of two brothers, Cain and Abel, the older brother, Cain, was angry with Abel because God had been pleased with Abel's sacrifice, but not with Cain's. God intervened, warning Cain about his anger and asking him to reflect on its origin. Yet despite God's warning, Cain's anger and jealousy overcame him to the point that he ultimately murdered his younger brother.
Like these two brothers, you may have struggled with anger yourself, or perhaps have been the recipient of someone who has - perhaps an abusive spouse or parent, boss or domineering or manipulative friends. Each of these situations generates anger, hurt and resentment, and you need a godly strategy to manage these powerful, and what can become, toxic, emotions.
As I've reflected on this challenge you'll face, I want to share principles that have been helpful to me over the years related to dealing with anger, hurt and resentment in a healthy way.
First, you'll need to recognize that anger comes from hurt.
Anger is a secondary emotion, caused by an offense or hurt of some sort. When attempting to manage either your own anger or that of others, it's helpful to realize that the anger comes from an offense or the perception of an offense.
When attempting to manage the emotion of anger, it's helpful to revisit the interactions in your mind leading up to the emotion of anger, either on your own part or that of the other person. Often, you'll be able to identify the comment(s) that were made that set off the angry reaction.
Anger that is left unresolved can quickly turn to resentment, bitterness, and finally hatred, placing you in a spiritually vulnerable position.
It's easy to leave anger unresolved - often it seems like too much effort to bring up a conflict with someone, and it's particularly threatening if it's someone with whom we're in a primary relationship - i.e., spouses, parents, children, etc. These situations are extremely emotionally loaded, as so much rides on them being resolved successfully. Often it seems easier to say nothing and not "rock the relational boat," rather than to bring the issue forward for resolution.
Yet Eph. 4:26-27 warns us "not to let the sun go down on your anger, thereby giving Satan an opportunity." Heb. 12:15 adds that the bitterness that can come will "defile many." So others are affected, too, by our anger, not just the party with whom we're angry at the time.
James 1:19-20 gives us wisdom, exhorting us to "be slow to anger, be quick to hear, and to be slow to speak, for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God." This passage highlights for us the common root of hurt and anger, which is from our communication with others.
Miscommunication can lead to anger and hurt.
Your communication with others is the primary way that our relationship to them is expressed. Depending on your temperament, you may have various communication challenges, or your spouse, parent or child may as well. Often we're not understood clearly, and others can taken offense. However, in some situations, people want to be offensive and their motives are to hurt the other person. However, if the one with whom you often have conflict is good-willed in their heart, you can know that miscommunication is likely playing a great role in the expression of the conflict.
It's important to learn healthy patterns and approaches to anger management.
Often when you or any of us are angry or under stress, we can resort to "primal" expressions of our anger - patterns we may have learned in our families of origin, but which are counterproductive to maintaining healthy relationships.
Some of these unhealthy patterns include passive-aggressive behaviors, such as stonewalling, ignoring the person, withdrawal or disengagement. Active-aggressive patterns such as attacking the other person are not healthy, either.
It's so much better to identify the issues you're angry about and attempt to engage in communication over those issues, negotiating as needed to achieve a "win-win" for each party. This takes great patience, but can be achieved as you "walk in the Spirit," (Gal. 5:25) and pray for wisdom as you interact with the person with whom you're struggling.
Keys to Victory along the Journey
Lastly, recognize that love and forgiveness cover a multitude of sins.
In order to fully resolve your anger and hurt, you'll need to come to a place of forgiveness, only possible by modeling the love Christ has shown for us in providing a way of forgiveness for our wrongdoings through His work on the cross.
- First, you'll need to recognize that anger comes from hurt.
- Anger that is left unresolved can quickly turn to resentment, bitterness, and finally hatred, placing you in a spiritually vulnerable position
The June 22 entry from Streams in the Desert, by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, gives wisdom for you about this perspective:
Love covereth (Prov. 10:12)
Be eager in pursuit of this love (1 Cor. 13:7-13)
"Rehearse your troubles to God only. Not long ago I read in a paper a bit of personal experience from a precious child of God, and it made such an impression upon me that I record it here. She wrote:
'I found myself one midnight wholly sleepless as the surges of a cruel injustice swept over me, and the love which covers seemed to have crept out of my heart. Then I cried to God in an agony for the power to obey His injunction, 'Love covereth.'
Immediately the Spirit began to work in me the power that brought about the forgetfulness.
Mentally I dug a grave. Deliberately I threw up the earth until the excavation was deep.
Sorrowfully I lowered into it the thing which wounded me. Quickly I shoveled in the clods.
Over the mound I carefully laid the green sods. Then I covered it with white roses and forget-me-nots, and quickly walked away.
Sweet sleep came. The wound which had been so nearly deadly was healed without a scar, and I know not today what caused my grief.' "
If you would like to hear more topics like these, please join us for the June "Inspirational Women's Garden Club" event on Wednesday, June 25, at 7 p.m. EST. For more information, contact Suzanne at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to have you join us and bring a friend, too!
June Coaching Special
With enrollment this month in the Inspirational Women's Garden Club, you’ll receive a complimentary 30-minute personal or church coaching consult. Just contact my office at email@example.com. I'd love to help you.
Please let me know what issues you would like to hear about in the next newsletter. I'll do my best to address your concerns! I look forward to speaking with you all next month.
Many prayers and blessings to you all,
Leadership Tips and Relationship Tips are monthly e-zines written and published by Suzanne Martinez, founder of SFM Consulting & Associates, LLC. Our purpose is to help leaders develop healthy leadership cultures and healthy relationships - cultures that promote growth and maximize personal and organizational performance.
You may copy, forward or distribute this e-zine if this copyright notice and contact information for Suzanne Martinez is included.
Would you forward this e-zine to others who would benefit from it? For a complimentary subscription, they can sign up at www.suzannemartinez.com. Please help us get the word out by forwarding this issue to others. Thank you!