The age-old question often comes back: how can I be angry in a Godly way, deal with it, and be in a healthy place?
I suddenly got it–or at least a portion of it. I am sure it was the Holy Spirit.
It is important when I first find myself angry to renounce Satan and to renounce anger and resentment. At once. That’s a big way the devil tries to undermine our attempts to be good, so renouncing his attacks in that way is really important. Then all that remains is my human emotions. How to deal with those is a little tougher–whether it’s crying, working out intensely, talking it out, whatever; doing something with it seems to be critical and also helpful. Neither of these two steps is necessarily once and done, but they must be done. And always, always ask the Holy Spirit to fill me and help me.
“Even if you are angry, do not sin: never let the sun set on your anger or else you will give the devil a foothold.” – Ephesians 4:26-27. I have always looked at this verse as vaguely meaning that when I don’t let go of my anger, I let the devil win the battle that day, with any implications that accompany that. But recently as I’ve learned more about healing, and seen that even the process of mourning a deep emotional wound that one has long carried is so healing, it hit me what a personal blow Satan is giving me when he takes that foothold. That anger inevitably sinks into my subconscious to join all the other anger I’ve allowed to go there–I always feel better the next morning, so guess where it went!–and it slowly adds up, destroying me more and more. And not only is it making me more prone to temptations and giving into them from sheer habit, but it even kills me. I become less and less functional and more and more bitter. And what better foothold than the ability to make me non-functional and bitter for the devil to keep me from living the life I was made to live and following God in the ways He’s calling me.
The devil’s foothold is powerful. But I have the power to not give it to him simply by dealing with my anger whenever I begin to notice it, and to forgive, always asking the Holy Spirit to help me.