Updated: Jul 6, 2021
The Many Faces of Anger. Now it gets personal! I would not have said I am an angry person and it is only by God's grace and through the spoken truth of one who willingly risked being the object of my anger that I have begun to see my own heart struggle with my sin of anger.
When we think of angry people we have a picture in our mind (it typically is not us!). One who is screaming, throwing things, hurting people, using violent language, etc. However, anger shows up in many ways. I would not describe myself as angry, but I would say that "I am miffed." I was reading another author who was describing anger and the first descriptor was the word "miffed." Ugh! I was guilty of anger, but did not want to admit it. Refusing to admit our anger is often a good indication that we struggle with anger. We are blind to our anger, but those around us are very aware of our anger. Maybe we should ask those around us if they think that we are angry? But then again...
Ed Welch gives three types of anger and encourages us to search for it in our own lives. 1) Covert Anger. Sarcasm, grumbling, complaining, gossiping, defending, smoldering, irritable, eye-rolling, entitled, frustrated, superior, etc. 2) Cold Anger. Silent treatment, withdrawal, indifference, cold shoulder, controlling, "stupid," detached, keeping score, criticizing, etc. 3) Hot Anger. Jealousy, wrath, war, murder, quarrels, explosions, rage, envy, hate, vengeful, attacks, violence, oppression, abuse, etc.
As we search for anger we need to look for the descriptors we give ourselves and learn to call our angry behavior a sin problem with anger. In acknowledging our sin of anger we will be in a place to be rescued by the power of the gospel. Sarcasm (superior point of view, critical with a "just kidding"), grumbling/complaining (I WANT and I am not getting what I want), gossip (publicizing our verdict with an attempt to convince others to have the same verdict), withdrawal/silence (punishment that refuses to acknowledge the wretch who did wrong until they make amends), indifference ("you are dead to me" or treating them as though you do not care, sending others into exile), envy (I want what you have), and jealousy (I want what you have and I do not want you to have it and I want you to suffer, I deserve it and you do not).
What are other words you use to deny your anger? Anger refuses to be contained and it does come out in our words, expressions, and actions. It is rooted deep in our heart and will destroy us and those around us.