Anger and Bitterness
Anger & Bitterness
God gives us hope when we release our anger
Anger is one of the strongest human emotions. When anger is expressed inappropriately, it can be very destructive to anyone unfortunate enough to be in its path. Destructive anger can hurt both people and relationships.
Anger in the Bible
We tend to think of anger as a negative quality that demands our repentance. That can certainly be the case, yet anger is also a quality God Himself bestowed upon humanity. In fact, anger is a quality He possesses. As revealed in Psalm 78:49-50 – He unleashed against them his hot anger, his wrath, indignation and hostility — a band of destroying angels. He prepared a path for his anger; he did not spare them from death but gave them over to the plague.
Here are some elements of anger:
First, anger can be tainted when it arises from selfish indignation rather than righteous indignation. John 2:14-16 reveals the story of Jesus in the temple courts – In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and half cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”
Jesus’ anger toward the money changers was righteous. They were behaving inappropriately in a place of worship. If Jesus had been angry because He planned on selling doves and they had cheated Him out of the best location, that would have been selfish anger.
Second, anger can be misused in its expression. Notice that Jesus drove out the right people – the money changers. He addressed their behavior, not their beings.
How often have we found ourselves projecting our anger by exploding at our children for a small thing like not making their beds when the real source of our anger is something else entirely? How many times – when hurt or offended – have we found ourselves calling people names and hurling insults? These are the times when the expression of our anger crosses the line into sin’s territory.
Here are two passages that outline how God wants us to handle our anger:
Be angry, and yet do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. Ephesians 4:26-27
Let all bitterness and wrath (violent anger or fury), anger and clamor (loud, noisy anger) and slander (telling lies about someone) be put away from you, along with all malice (a desire to cause pain). Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God, in Christ, also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32
What does God want us to do with our anger?
What does your anger in action look like? (If you are brave, ask those around you.)
Anger can have long roots in our hearts. To rid ourselves of anger, we must first dig down deep to the root or cause of anger. Have you suppressed your anger so long that you no longer identify it as anger? Maybe it now sounds like an excuse or feels like depression or despair.
Ask God to help you see any areas of bitterness or resentment that have remained in your heart.
Mark any of the following you have experienced:
___ People who withheld the truth about the abortion procedure or development of the baby.
___ Anyone who suggested abortion as the best option.
___ Self, for pressuring for the abortion to begin with, and for not having enough courage to stand against the odds and allow the pregnancy to continue.
___ Self, for not educating about abstinence, contraception, fetal development, and abortion techniques.
___ Self, for not seeing the signs of pregnancy and stopping the procedure.
___ The father or mother of the baby, for not being supportive, physically, emotionally, or financially.
___ Anyone who put pressure on the situation or insisted upon the abortion.
___ God for allowing the pregnancy to happen or for not intervening to stop the abortion.
___ The secrecy and lies surrounding the decision to abort.
___ Society, who allows for easy access to abortion.
___ Other _________________________________________________________
Once you have identified the source — or sources — of your anger, you will notice that some of them are legitimate and others are not. Regardless, there is still a need for these emotions to be expressed in some way to relieve the bitterness in your heart.
Begin by praying that God would direct you in how to address your angry feelings regarding this abortion. Most can probably be dealt with in the privacy of your own heart. There may be some that will necessitate that you talk to others involved in the abortion. Be slow to do that until you have completed this course.
Remember you may be uncovering hurts that have been buried for a long time. The abortion may have been recently discovered and your emotions are still raw. It may take some time to gain perspective on all the pain you are experiencing. If you just learned about the abortion, you will be in a quite different place emotionally than the post-abortive person. They have had time to let it all settle and learned to cope over time.
A good way to resolve anger is to write letters that you never intend to send. Pour out all your feelings of rage, betrayal, hurt, or disillusionment onto paper. If they need further expression, do it with a trusted – but uninvolved – friend or counselor. Writing these letters is considered a healing activity.
Bear in mind that God Himself, will deal with those who have hurt you. Romans 12:19 reveals, Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
From this section what did you learn about what makes God angry?
What did you learn about your own anger?
Go back and revisit the Chart of Responsibility activity you completed in Lesson 4 on page 28. List out those who were involved or encouraged this abortion either directly or indirectly. How do you feel about these individuals today?
Answer these questions:
How has the abortion affected your relationship with them?
Who are you afraid to tell about the abortion and why?
Denial and bargaining are on each side of anger. They are accomplices which allow anger to remain in control. We can decide to keep this anger, transfer it, or resolve it. Answer these questions:
What was the outcome of your misuse of anger?
Have you transferred your anger to anyone else?
Are you determined to resolve your anger now? If so, what steps will you take?
Anger Turned Inwards
According to Proverbs 6:16-19, these are the things that God hates – There are six things that the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, lying tongues, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife amongst brothers.
Which of these seven aspects anger have you done?
How did you exhibit pride (self-centeredness) when you learned of the pregnancy and/or abortion decision?
The abortion industry enjoys utilizing half-truths and outright lies to encourage abortion decisions. Being lied to often leads to anger. What lies were you told in this child’s abortion?
Were you involved with shedding of this child’s innocent blood? If so, how do you feel about that now?
If you were involved in the abortion decision, what lies did you tell yourself about the baby to justify it may have been best for your daughter/son to abort?
What other sins were committed in the abortion? These may include: premarital sex, drug/alcohol use, pressure to abort, denial of the situation, extreme anger, etc.?
How has the abortion alienated you from friends and loved ones?
Read Psalms 37:1-8 – Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
What does this passage say happens to evil doers?
What does God desire for us to do?
List the promises God gives us in this passage.
Complete the following:
Healing Activity 5.1 – 30 Pieces of Coin activity (below)
Healing Activity 5.2 – On a separate sheet of paper, write letters (that you will not send) to everyone that you feel angry towards in relation to the abortion.
5.1 30 Pieces of Coin
(Open PDF here)
This activity is designed to help you understand how this abortion has impacted your heart.
Hello, I am Sydna Massé Founder and CEO of Ramah International. I'd love to keep in touch and include you in our prayer chain as we continue to serve abortion's wounded and those considering abortion.
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