We all experience anger. Anger is a very misunderstood emotion. In my previous article, Kingdom Anger Management Part 1, I presented how it is a normal human emotion to a perceived threat. It is therefore a pain response, a symptom that there is a wound. In the case of a physical wound, we identify the wound and seek the medical care that wound needs.
But with emotional wounding what do we usually do?
Consistent with our human nature, we seek out what we perceive to be the source of our pain. It may be the person yelling to our face hurtful words or it can be the person ahead of us in traffic who is blissfully unaware that they are driving to slow for our liking. Either way, we perceive they are the threat to our greatest emotional need for unconditional love and acceptance.
But are they the actual threat?
Is what they are saying or doing actually saying that we are unworthy of love, respect and have no value? It is when we make a judgment and then use that judgment to negatively define our value, our worth and our identity it becomes a threat.
We perceive, “Oh, you said that to make me look worthless!” Then we judge, “Ah, therefore I am worthless!” Then we hop into flight or fight mode! Part of that flight or fight mode is also a choice of how to manage the wound and the pain we’ve suffered.
In flight mode, we may draw back into isolation and deny that there was any offense refusing to acknowledge any wound or pain. In fight mode we fight back and choose any weapon of choice, our words or actions to wound our offender.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:26 to be angry but do not sin in your anger. We are told by well-meaning Christians that we are to just pretend that we are not wounded and go on with our lives. But isn’t that just denial—a flight mode choice?
He also tells us in Colossians 3:5 to put to death the things of our earthly nature. This means that any of the flight or fight choices are of our human, earthly nature. As children of the King, we have another choice. Rather than choosing a “sin” response, a response that is in alliance with our earthly nature, we have another option, a Kingdom of Light response. We can choose to heal.
It is hard to make a Kingdom choice. Our human nature wants to wallow in the pain and our pride wants to hide the pain. Pride is nothing more than trying to heal ourselves. And how is that working for the human race?
Like little children, we need to run into Father’s arms when we scrape our knee or when life hits us in the face. When we were very small children, we used to run to Mommy and Daddy with our hurts and boo-boos. But somewhere along the way, we learned that they were not there for us or we realized that they were the ones hurting us. We started to try to comfort ourselves with sex, drugs, alcohol, sports, shopping, codependent relationships and even church.
We need to realize that we cannot heal ourselves.
Our fight and flight responses do not heal us. Our coping behaviors do not protect, fix or comfort us. We are His children and we need to run into His arms. We need to show Him where it hurts and tell him about our pain. We need to let Him kiss our boo-boos away.
That is exactly what we are doing in the Five Wholeness Steps. It is not a ritual, but a simple healing routine to use when we find emotional wounds.
For more details about the The Five Wholeness Steps, see my blog post: “When I’m Hurting.”