The following article on HealMyLife.com - Anger, Hate, Love and Forgiveness
- is by © George Hartwell and codifies information used in his
counselling practice. One purpose is to define anger as a
positive energy when used appropriately. I also would like to
free Christians from false guilt about anger and misunderstandings
Anger, Hate, Forgiveness and Love
Our emotions express the state of our inner being, our human spirit. Emotions motivate us. Get us moving. Energize us. God has a purpose for anger.
Anger is aggressive, confrontive energy. The purpose of anger is to energize us to take stands, deal with enemies, overcome obstacles, accomplish tasks, confront injustice, speak up for ourselves, set limits, expose the darkness, oppose abuse and fight oppression.
When you are angry see if you need to stand up and fight for what is right; protect your loved ones or something precious to you. Ask yourself what loving purpose can be served by this energy.
Hatred is the emotion that moves us to attack our opponents, destroy whatever blocks us, kill our enemies, and annihilate the oppressor. With hatred we may abuse those who have hurt us; seek revenge on our enemies. We may curse, malign and put down our opponent - attacking their reputation with slander.
If our hatred is kept brooding on negative thoughts in our heart there are effects of our hatred. If we express hatred verbally people will feel as if they were struck. When Jesus tells us that hatred is like murder he is revealing that this negative energy is real and dangerous. It acts like a curse.
We may be surprised when those we hate back off and avoid us. Jesus isn't surprised because he knows we need to take seriously the attitude of our heart and spirit. Because we are spirit our neighbour responds to the thoughts and intents that we build into our heart. People in their spirit 'know' the inner feelings we have toward them.
Ask God to help your heart attitude to change if you are locked into hatred.
Forgiveness is the process of moving away from the attitude of hatred to the attitude of love. Forgiveness happens when we choose not to hurt the person who hurt us.
When hurt and angry we speak truth to the person in love. We deal with the issues. But we don't attack the person. We talk straight. We confront injustice. do so without the intention of hurting the other though we are not afraid of straight talk to the issues.
Love is the choice to do good toward another. It is to have a good heart and good will toward another. It is to have benevolent thoughts and feelings toward another. Love includes feelings, thoughts and intents of blessing, enjoying, of connecting emotionally with another.
In love there is no thought or intent of intentionally hurting, robbing, destroying, or murdering another. In love we intent good not evil toward others. We intend to build up not destroy. So love does not hate, and even if extremely angry, love will focus on dealing with the problem not attacking the person.
Releasing Anger - Letting a person go.
For longstanding resentments make a list of 20 negative and 20 positive characteristics of the one person you resent most. Do negative list first and then balance that list with the positive list. This helps release the person.
Releasing Anger Prayer Encounter
Write down (or mentally note) five things you are angry about that you want to release to God.
Declare out loud: 'Jesus, you are my Lord and Savior and I invite you to be Lord of my anger and resentment. I choose to release my anger about these issues (or my resentment about this person) to you.'
Let your mind observe and note what happens. Be aware of what you are seeing, hearing, feeling and sensing. However, do not try to control with your mind. A Healing encounter with God must touch your heart and your real inner being.
To set up this healing encounter with God, picture a beautiful natural setting where you can be alone and commune God. Picture the blue sky and a still, calm body of water - such as a lake. Find a place near the shore where you can sit and enjoy the calm of the quiet blue lake or pond.
The lake represents the peace of God. You are going to release your anger by having it be absorbed by this lake. You will dramatize this release of your anger by picturing yourself hurling a stone into this calm lake. You choose to involve your imagination so that this prayer will be from your heart.
You find a stone on the beach and declare: "God this stone represents my anger about ______. I am releasing this to you now." Now throw the stone far out into the lake. Watch it splash and sink. Let the ripples subside. Notice how you feel. Repeat this with another stone for each issue or for each negative characteristic of this person on your list. to save time, group some listed negatives together.
Now wait silently by the lake and absorb the peace and calm. Notice if a confirming verse, thought or melody comes to your heart.
How are you feeling? If you are feeling good continue to drink in this scene and what it means to you. Let there be time for your heart to receive. Let the message and the feeling sink into your heart. Give thanks to God.
Ask God how He can use these issues for good in your life. How can his redemptive power make use of these issues or the relationship with this person for some good purpose in your life? Write this down.
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