Perhaps it is fair to say that none of us can avoid anger. Whether we like it or not something is going to tick us off that may eventually spiral out of control and lead us to places we wish we had never ventured into. There are mainly two types of anger, the quick fire anger which reaches its peak in a matter of seconds and the slow burn which unravels itself in due time. Nevertheless for either type to succeed, anger must go through several stages before it boils over into something more sinister. We can determine the six stages of anger by these words from the bible, 'Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.' Below is an examination of these stages and how we can overcome them.
Bitterness is the embryonic stage of anger. Its birth is as a result of our inner self disagreeing with something. This is human and cannot be avoided. The truth is this is can be healthy to a point because in its own way establishes our identity. We know who we are, what we like and dislike and it can be a pretext for gaining wisdom and understanding. If bitterness is addressed in the correct way and reflected upon we can easily rise above it and gain understanding. There are various outlets for this, agreeing to disagree, accepting others opinion, allowing time to gain understanding and accepting that matters can be beyond our control. If any of these are applied correctly then our bitterness is easily uprooted. If not we are led into the next stage of anger which is wrath.
In wrath we are fuming and expect ourselves to react to the bitterness we endured. For people with the quick fire anger, this stage of anger barely exists as they unleash their wrath on others without allowing time for reflection. For the slow burn it is a case of developing hatred as the thoughts that formulate within their minds set off alarm bells for retaliation. Wrath is the key stage to walk away from anger. It is the point of forgiveness where we realize nothing we do can change how we feel about the situation. It is a case of walking away or willing ourselves not to be drawn into the next stage. In any event it is our last saving point of grace before we get angry.
Anger at this point in the process means, we are unable to control bitterness and have allowed our wrath to take control of us. Without God's grace it would be impossible to turn this anger into righteous anger. Righteous anger in this case is instructional and focused on correction rather than retaliation. To distinguish between righteous anger and that which isn't we can examine the results from either. Righteous anger leads to a better understanding where as unrighteous anger usually results in disaster. If unrighteous anger takes over at this point then we head straight for clamor.
Perhaps righteous anger may spill over to clamor to get our point across and ensure that the corrective message gets through. Most times the loud voice will still hold authority and be controlled. With unrighteous anger clamor is loud, aggressive and intentionally destructive. It is meant to hurt, frighten and oppress and most times it gets these results for its effort. If we have reached this stage of anger and are not in the righteous mood then we must walk away from the situation. It means we have no control of what happens next and its best not to be in the vicinity of what may have brought this on. When clamor has taken its toll on us we move into evil speaking.
In this there is no control of our anger. There is no spirit of good left in our actions and our sole purpose is to inflict pain. This stage of anger is the quaking stage, we become breathless and evil surrounds our being. We call upon every component of arrogance, pride and all the bad we can muster from the world to exert whatever force of evil we can find on what has made us angry. It is a difficult place to come back from unless we are saved by the grace of the Lord. We should hope that there is someone else available to pull us from this place. It is unsafe and can spill over to a place of no return called malice.
Malice is the final stage of anger and the worst place to be. Here we we have become judge and jury of our thoughts and want retribution. If those who suffer from the slow burn anger ever get to this stage, their actions are premeditated. They have determined carefully what they wish to do and are now exacting their anger in accordance. For those of the quick fire anger, their actions are swift, disastrous and terminal. Either way there is no safe bed to come from this except regret and repentance. Perhaps the best thing to do after exerting our malice on anyone is to ask for forgiveness. There is no way else out of this except seeking God.
Source by Leslie Musoko