By Gena Barnhill @BarnhillGena
I used to feel justified in holding on to my anger waiting for the person who hurt me to apologize. After all, didn’t Jesus have righteous anger?
Yes, Jesus did display righteous anger in the Bible when he observed injustice and evil. But my anger was certainly not righteous. And what I did with it, was not what Jesus did! I let my anger fester and mistakenly believed it permitted me to judge others, make nasty comments, and withhold forgiveness. What I did not realize is that we reap what we sow.
Galatians 6:7 says, Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
When we focus our time and energy on anger, the consequences we reap will be more anger. If the spirit of anger has been operating in our lineage, we may unknowingly be giving the enemy a legal right to oppress us when we decide to hold on to our anger. The enemy will then provide us with reminders of ways we have been offended to help us justify our angry behavior and continue the pattern of inappropriately expressing anger.
Anger is an emotion. The emotion itself isn’t right or wrong. The Lord isn’t telling us to never be angry. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, Be angry, and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
How we act based on our anger is often the problem. Anger may signal an injustice that needs to be corrected, as Jesus demonstrated in the Bible when worship in the temple was defiled. However, injustice does not give us permission to lose restraint and abuse the wrongdoer.
Psychologists refer to anger as a secondary emotion that masks underlying emotions. Anger may be covering other emotions and feelings that we do not want to deal with, such as fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, and depression—to name a few. The recurrent behavioral expression of these emotions may indicate negative ancestral influences operating in the family lineage.
We need to give our emotions and feelings to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to reveal the root of our anger so that we can renounce and reject the associated negative influences and any resulting lies we have believed.How Does Anger Affect Us Spiritually? The A-B-C Series on Ancestral Influences #prayer #anger Click To Tweet
James 1:19-20 says, Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Ephesians 4:31-32 says, Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
God wants us to be slow to anger. We need to speak the truth in love and build each other up. We need to address the anger and not let it fester.
A—Acknowledge our anger. We need to recognize it first. Sometimes we mislabel anger or use it as protection to cover up other emotions we do not want to deal with.
N—Notice how anger is affecting our bodies. Are we clenching our fists or jaw? Is our pulse or blood pressure rising? Are we grimacing or is our face turning red? Do we sense any tension in our neck or shoulders? Butterflies in our stomach? Could these bodily changes indicate anger?
G—Give our anger to Jesus. In prayer, ask Jesus to reveal the root of the anger, and ask Him to take it from us. If He reveals it is a negative ancestral influence, also referred to as a spirit, then renounce and reject it and ask for forgiveness for partnering with it. Forgive ancestors who partnered with anger, knowingly or unknowingly.
E—Exclaim we are not partnering with anger. Verbally announce that we are no longer partnering with anger, and we want Jesus to deal with this spirit and close the door to the enemy. Ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and protection as we walk in our new freedom.
R—Rejoice in the Lord. Thank the Lord for our freedom and for breaking the ancestral pattern of anger in our family line. Our children and their future generations will no longer need to be oppressed by anger.
Do you recognize a recurrent pattern of anger in your family line or in the lineage of others you care for? How will you pray against this negative ancestral influence?
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Looking forward to your input.