Jesus says anger is so evil it will send you to hell:
Matthew 5:22 (NIV)
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.
Why would he say this? Me, I think anger isn't all bad. Sure, anger which comes out of frustration is bad. We all know how scary road rage can be. But there is another kind of anger that comes from injustice and that anger causes people to take actions to make the world a better place. Anger makes people fight for regulations that protect people in the workforce. Anger causes protests that change societies ideas on what is right and what is wrong. Anger brings things to our attention that we normally wouldn't know anything about. Anger causes the downfall of cruel governments. It changes history. If we all followed the policies that Jesus said of never getting angry, the thieves and the bullies and the murderers and the cheats of this world would never be punished, never be reigned in.
Of course anger also gets people hurt and killed. I get that. What I'm saying is that all anger is not the same. To condemn it no matter what kind it is is like condemning knives no matter what they are used for.
This comes at a cost of course. It is anger that gives you the energy to get you to do something about a bad situation, but at the same time if you don't it eats you up inside. That can lead to health problems, or psychological ones, where, if you can't express your anger then you turn it towards yourself because your inner child is hurting and you didn't stand up for yourself and defend it. That's why turning the other cheek and being meek is so wrong.
Still, that's what I do. Whenever someone is mean to me I swallow it- I let it pass. But because I didn't deal with it, the incident is filed under “Unfinished Business” in my brain. Until I do something about it I feel angry about it inside.
Note, I don't hold a grudge against everyone who hurts me. If they apologize or if I tried to protect myself that's OK- I'm angry but I get over it. Otherwise I don't. Which can lead to some inconsistencies sometimes. For instance I've been raped and once I was kidnapped, but I don't hold a grudge against the people who did it because I fought back, or I was in such danger that being raped was getting off easy- I could have been killed. But when I tell people about it I sometimes hold a grudge against them for their reactions. One nun told me I was blameless only if I called out for help when it was happening. She was quoting the Bible, but for one thing there was no one to hear and for another, it would have been a dangerous thing to do. So I hold a grudge against her for asking me to risk my life to follow a formula. Especially in those situations, everything depends.
Another person I have a grudge against is the psychologist who said that rape was bad because it invades your personal space. What an IDIOT! Rape is bad because it HURTS! How could he not know that?
Another guy, who had obviously been watching too much porn said that because sex was a good thing, rape couldn't be bad.
I'm angry at all these people and I wish I'd said something at the time. But I didn't so now I stew. Yet to the rapists, well, I did something so that's OK- I took action, one guy apologized and the other even offered me a job in his retail business. So that's OK. But when I didn't take action, well, it's unfinished business and until I confront those people it's not settled.
So I would say that if you want to avoid anger stand up for yourself right away. If you have a grudge, try to settle it nicely .That way your inner child will be satisfied and you will have inner peace.
All NIV Bible quotes are from:
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica
taken from http://www.biblegateway.com