The Remedy for Toxic Anger

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Like some, I have experienced something in the traditional church culture that we refer to as a church hurt. It was this painful experience that propelled me into a tail spin of toxic anger. I was angry with the church, members of the church, leadership of the church and angry with anyone who told me not to be angry. I was so angry, hurt and disappointed that I wanted nothing to do with church. After all, church fellowship was much of my life growing up. 

Through the years, just the thought of what happened brought anger all over again. The anger began to gain control of my mind so much that I responded to life’s circumstances from the context of anger. I managed to hold on to a part of one Scripture: “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26).

The Counter Cultural Remedy for Toxic Anger

What would I do differently in retrospect?

  1. While anger is a human emotion, toxic anger can carry us over into a realm of anger God’s frowns on. The Scripture says not to sin in our anger. That means if someone does something to us that causes anger, we need to learn to respond in a way that helps to fix the problem. It may take a couple of deep breaths or some time to cool off, but God gives us the ability to forgive others like He forgives us for the crazy things we do.
  2. Forgiveness without apologies. As God healed the hurt I experienced, I begin to forgive those who I felt had hurt me before the face-to-face reconciliation process began. Forgiveness started in my heart first.
  3. Deal with anger quickly, as soon as tempers calm down. The gulf only widens without meaningful conversations. I had to work through the toxicity in my spirit and agree to let God do the healing. Consequently, there was reconciliation and apologies exchanged (James 5:16).

In a time when revenge movies and reality shows suggest that getting angry and payback are the solutions for our feelings of hurt and betrayal, God says to bring our anger before Him for healing. The counter cultural journey through dealing with toxic anger may not get high ratings, but can save friendships, lives and wasted years of stressing. It even has health benefits.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32:

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