Saturday, November 3, 2012

David Seamands on Anger in the Forgiveness Process

Understanding Anger

The first step toward forgiveness is to acknowledge feelings of resentment and hate.

The anger, the resentment, the hate that gets buried deep down inside. Sometimes I ask people when I'm counseling with them, “Would the word rage be too strong?” They often hang their heads and say, “No. That's right.”

The healing process must include the courage to unmask the anger, bring it out before God, and put it on the Cross where it belongs. There will be no healing until it is acknowledged, confronted, and resolved. 

Resolution means forgiving every person involved in that hurt and humiliation; it means surrendering every desire for a vindictive triumph over that person; it means allowing God's forgiving love to wash over your guilt-plagued soul.

It is high time some of us get over our childish ideas on this subject. Anger is not a sinful emotion. In fact, there are no sinful emotions. There are only sinful uses of emotions … Anger is a divinely planted emotion. Closely aligned to our instinct for right, it is designed-as are all our emotions-to be used for constructive spiritual purposes.

Anger at God

Perhaps the most puzzling and shocking experience of all is when devout Christians find themselves overrun by feelings of anger against God Himself. This is terribly hard to admit. I have spent many sessions gently leading counselees to the place where they finally realize their resentment against God. The shock has been so great that some have momentarily passed out in my office, or have become nauseated to the point of vomiting. For they love God and want to serve and please Him and are devastated when they discover this submerged anger against Him.

Anger and Depression

When you surrender your anger and oversensitivity to injustice and unfairness, you won't have trouble with self-pity, and your depressions will lessen immediately.

Much more to follow
on the topic of the journey of forgiveness.