Accepting Anger

Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath.

Eph. 4:26

Samantha was in the sixth grade when she watched her father beat up her sister. It must have been an upsetting experience, but Samantha recounted it to me without emotion. She coul.dn’t remember feeling anything. In therapy, Samantha grew to realize that, in her family, only the male adult was “allowed” to be angry. A child who expressed anger risked physical abuse. So Samantha had learned to push all emotions deep into her being-so deep that she could no longer feel them.

Our verse today is a familiar one often used in the context of relationships. Is it possible that, at yet another level, the verse means “Don’t push your anger into the darkness so that it goes out of  your awareness”? Fortunately our God is not a dysfunctional parent who can tolerate only our positive feelings. He invites us to express all of our feelings to Him-even our anger and fear. After all, He created us; He knows what we are feeling. And He desires that we get in touch with our own feelings. He desires honesty in our innermost being.

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, that you made me to be a woman who can experience a wide range of emotions. Thank you that you are accepting of all of them.