Our anger does not work the righteous of God – James 1:20
Hello everyone! Today I am starting with a Bible verse. Why? This verse made such an impact on me last week related to what I will tell you about today that I wanted you to read it first and really let it sink in. I want everyone to understand when they have finished reading this blog how much our anger can get us in trouble at times. I also want my readers to see how hurtful and unloving it truly is, no matter what we are trying to get across to someone else.
So exactly what do I mean by “writing while angry?” Allow me to set the stage.
I participate in a social media platform that encourages survivors of domestic abuse of all kinds – both men and women. I saw a shared story on the platform that spoke of a man, a mother, a child and the father of the child. The child had been badly beaten by a man that the mother of the child had left him with while she had to go to work. This story infuriated me. I made a quick assumption that the man she left the child with was her boyfriend. I also made the quick assumption (there’s that word again), that she knew this man was violent and did this anyway. I proceeded to share and comment on this story with my anger-filled diatribe on how I “could not believe this woman would do this and blah, blah, blah." I not only shared this on two other sites, I shared it on my personal social media page. I thought I had wrapped that little story up nicely and packaged it the way it should be packaged. I was still mad; and then the comments started coming in, particularly on the domestic violence sites. My angry mouth and hands (we use our hands to write), had hurt people. One lady who commented I believe had done something similar in another part of her life and was still kicking herself for it. Guess what I did? I kicked her again. In my self-righteous anger I had condemned again a person who already felt condemned or who had perhaps just stopped feeling condemned and then here comes Elizabeth’s fast fingers and sharp words. Do you see what I’m getting at? After seeing the aftermath of what I did, I immediately took the post down and apologized on both sites as well as my personal site. I had been angry and irresponsible. I had accomplished nothing but to cut people with razor sharp words who were already cut and trying to heal. I am thankful that those who I hurt were willing to accept my apology and understand that I took responsibility for those words.
I am here to tell you anger accomplishes nothing in the long run but to hurt other people. Yes, you can be upset about something you see or read or even hear. What we need to do is step back, let our anger subside and then re-approach the situation or person. Do not speak or discipline a child when you are angry. Do not write an email, send a text, write a blog or even post to Facebook when you are angry. Step back, let that fiery emotion pass. Anger serves to let us know an injustice has been done and something is wrong, but it does not serve us beyond that. Beyond alerting us to an injustice or wrongdoing, it turns into rage and rage becomes something we can’t control and makes us people we are not. Rage is non-productive and very destructive. We are not serving ourselves well or others when we act on our anger. We are not helping Jesus when we act on anger. We only serve anger when we act on anger.
You will never see what I posted that day and that is okay. Those words did enough damage I can’t take back. What I can take away from that is the valuable lesson I learned about anger and how it does not serve me well in person nor in writing. I am learning and growing just like everyone else. I won’t always get this right. I can only hope people will be brave enough to call me out like those ladies did when I don’t get it right. If they won’t, I know Jesus will in His own gentle way. I want to continue to learn and grow and be the best example of Jesus’s love and life that I can be. I hope that I show that to my readers every time they read a blog or read one of my books. I never want anger to be a backdrop for anything I write or even the backdrop of my life. Joy is so much better than anger and so is speaking life to people.
Choose to speak life today. Step back if you’re angry and just breath and take some time to process – then revisit that conversation, text, email, post, etc. Don’t hurt anyone just to be right (I so wanted to be right that day too) – you aren’t only letting anger win; you are letting pride win. It’s just not worth it! Speak life and love! The results will be far much better, and you will build trust with people you did not think possible.