I grew up in a very angry family. It started with my parents who took anger to new levels of sport. I can barely remember a day going by when they were not yelling at each other, and at other people, about something.
Of course I would not learn until much later in life that they actually thrived on it. My mom, being the creator of the word narcissism, actually found it fun to lie to each of us siblings about the others to keep us mad or upset with each other all the time so that we would want to talk with mom more than each other. I know if that sounds crazy to you, it is because it is crazy.
I was reminded of this today as I was doing a study on anger in the Bible and I turned to Proverbs 19:19 which reads:
“A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty;
rescue them, and you will have to do it again.”
This is such a very true piece of wisdom that God has shared with us. Basically what God is saying here is, “If you rescue a mean, angry person today, get ready, because you will be doing it all over again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.”
This is how I spent the better part of my childhood and adulthood, trying to stop people from arguing and fighting, when in truth, they lived for the argument and fighting and did not want to stop.
If you find yourself in this situation with either a spouse, or a child, or a family member, take my advice, get off that merry-go-round of insanity and leave them in their own mess. You cannot win in these situations and God tells us not even to try. As God says, “they will pay their penalty” and you do not need to be any part of that.
Angry people most often never realize that anger is a secondary emotion. What I mean by this is people cannot start off “angry.” There is always a primary emotion that causes you to be angry.
For example, if someone came up to me and and said, “I know you stole my lunch, now either give me the money to buy a new one or else I will tell everyone you are a thief!’, my first emotion I feel is not anger. To begin with I am insulted for being called a thief, and soon I’m going to be called a liar when I say that I did not steal their lunch. I may also be frightened if they come at me in a threatening way. So you see, the insult and the fear are what cause me to be angry. You never, ever just begin being angry. It’s psychologically impossible.
Therefore if the angry people are never interested in tackling the primary emotion, then they just stay angry and make everyone else miserable (right mom?) 🙂
So the absolute best thing to do is just let them be and move on with your own life. If that sounds harsh, please know that it is very Biblical. Titus 3:9-10 tells us to warn a derisive (mean and angry) person once, then if need be warn them a second time, if it happens a third time walk away from them for good. Those are God’s words, not mine – I just live by them.
Trust me when I tell you that the relief you will feel by not constantly being around mean and angry people will be a breath of fresh air and it will feel as if a weight has been lifted from your neck. Mean and angry people live to bring you down to their level. Since they are not feeling joy, neither should anyone else according to them. That is not Godly in any way.
It has been proven clinically that being angry and remaining angry can take years off of your life and cause heart attacks, panic attacks, and nervous disorders. God did not wire us to be angry, mean people. So if this is a problem you are currently facing, please take my advice and lean on good ole Titus 3 – warn them twice then follow the yellow brick road to freedom from anger.
With lots of peace and love,
Pastor Brad Komgenick