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The Triangle of Anger
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The Triangle of Anger
By Dan Langerock
Have you ever thought of anger as being coupled with resentment and bitterness—not just as an isolated emotion? Sometimes, when we are angry with someone, we use that word to also mean the other two. Let’s take a look at this triangle.
This is the first emotion in the trio of anger. You are insulted, something happens to you and you are resentful that it happened or that those words were said. If you don’t deal with resentment at this point, it will progress to the next step which is anger.
` Now that the incident has happened, you have gone past resentment and gone to anger. While resentment can be more of an inward emotion, anger is not always silent. This is where you can become out of control, and the Bible warns us not to let anger control us. Relationships are broken, people are murdered, and many other terrible consequences ensue when we allow anger to control us. Again, we have the choice to let it go or keep it escalating to the next step which is bitterness.
Here, you are still resentful of what has happened, angry with deep emotion, and then bitterness comes around to call. This is turned inward and outward: inward where it burns like a cancer for years to come, and outward isolating us from ones who love us—destroying relationships as it progresses. One man had words with his son and didn’t know where he was at the time I spoke with him. He couldn’t let him know that he was very sick because there was no way to reach him. The lines of communication had been cut many years ago but the consequences followed nonetheless.
The Bible tells us, in the book of Matthew, we will be forgiven if we forgive those who sin against us. The obverse is also true, that if we refuse to forgive, God will not forgive us when we sin against him. What a horrible thought! The sooner we can get rid of the trespass the better it is, because it doesn’t have time to become embedded for years in our beings, eating away at everything we hold dear.
Is the triangle of bitterness and anger and resentment present in your life? How long has it been there, festering away and poisoning your life? Isn’t it time you dealt with it once and for all with God’s help? You are not alone as you do this, He will help and guide you, but you must take the steps to set it in motion. If you do this with an attitude of humility, you will have the peace of mind you are seeking so fervently. Don’t let another year pass before you start walking the road of forgiveness. It will pay greater dividends than any stock market or financial investment ever could.
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