Anger and frustration is a daily theme witnessed in the news. Much of what we see ends in horrific consequences. But anger expressed appropriately is not only healthy, it’s a necessary emotion in the healing process.
David Kessler and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross note anger as one of the responses to grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance). How can we not feel angry when we lose something or someone dear to us? Life doesn’t always seem fair. We ask why the loss happened and why were we on the losing side.
We find references to anger throughout Scripture. Jesus was angry with those who desecrated the temple (Matthew 21:12). We read of God’s anger with humanity on numerous occasions, and we’ve certainly offered more reasons for that anger since the writings of Scripture.
When grieving, our anger may be directed toward everyone in our path including people who aren’t responsible. That irrational anger is normal particularly when the loss is major. The more we express and work through our pain, the sooner it will dissipate.
The key is to voice our emotions to a wise, compassionate ear who can guide us. Taking out our anger in hurtful ways toward others will only increase our future pain as well as theirs. Jesus said that if we insult someone, we will be liable to eternal punishment (Matthew 5:22). And Paul reminds us not to let the sun go down on our anger (Ephesians 4:26).
Seek counseling or a support group if you are experiencing anger. Once you work through your grief, you’ll find happiness on the other side.