Anger to Peace (outline)
and Kathy Corwin, Marriage and Family Educators
unresolved anger and forgiveness
A. The Marital (Relationship) Disease
of Unresolved Anger - Be angry, but do not sin. (Eph. 4:26-27)
- Anger is a common, daily emotion – one we cannot
avoid, and should not try to deny or suppress. Anger builds up
like plaque in our “love arteries.”
an emotion you just cannot bury and forget.
- It is not sinful to get angry. God expects that we will.
- Anger is fear, frustration, and hurt feelings coming
- Anger becomes sinful if we hang on to or nurse it while engaging
in vengeful behavior toward those with whom we are angry.
B. Four Relational Germs That Develop Into The Disease Of Anger
Four ways – progressive steps – to ruin your marriage
due to your anger:
- Withdraw from your spouse.
- Escalate and inflame your dispute.
- Belittle your spouse.
- Let negative beliefs set in and poison you toward your
C. The Effects of Unresolved Anger in Life and in Marriage
1. Spiritual: Staying angry extinguishes the
light of God in our life – we
walk in darkness instead. (John 2: 9-11)
- The light of God goes out
when we stay angry.
- You start thinking and living in the dark.
- No Spiritual insight.
- Anger grows into hatred, rage and bitterness.
- Anger brings addictive habits like drugs, alcohol,
- We can’t figure things out.
3. Physical: Anger increases our
risk of heart attack and other diseases.
- For men, 6 times greater chance of heart attack.
- 80% of sickness comes from anger.
- Lowers immune system of the body.
- Poison is released from the brain when angry.
4. Relational: Anger makes intimacy
threatening; feels better to remain distant.
Anger is like a rheostat – it takes the light out of
your life and when you forgive and
release the other person to God, the light
- We are in darkness when we haven’t learned how to
live. We are not the leader God intends
for us to be. Without vision the
leader loses focus
of his or her vision. We are less sensitive, (Bill Clinton/Foster
- If we have unresolved anger, we cannot have close relationships.
- When we provoke our children – they become angry – they live in darkness – they
are more tempted.
- It’s been proven that the majority of prostitutes,
male and female are angry with their father.
- If your children are angry with you – their not going to take your faith,
your values – your music – nothing.
When they are angry
with us they will
D. The terrible fruit:
The Epidemic of Modern
- When you divorce it can affect your children for a
Anger is passed down generation to generation.
- Research suggests that
80% of 2nd generation divorces are influenced by the unresolved anger of parent’s
divorce. Dr. Scott Staily.
- Dr. Bradley Williams, (Dr. of the Doctors, such as
Male Clinic) says 80% of people are sick because of unresolved
- Men with unresolved anger have six times more heart attacks
Forgiving is Christ-like. Jesus was our example and He said, “Forgive
us our debts as we forgive or debtors.” Matthew 6:12, 14 & 15
- We hear of horrible family and personal situations that often
involve years of emotional and physical abuse. Certainly there
are times when forgiveness seems nearly impossible. When we forgive
a person who hurt us deeply and unfairly, we perform a miracle
that has no equal. Forgiving has an inner healing beauty to the
saddest of pains. Forgiveness is love’s biggest task and
risk. Jesus said, if we want to be forgiven, we need to forgive!
When we don’t forgive people, there’s
a downward spiral
and there are TYPICAL FEELINGS
when they have
HURT: When someone causes us pain that’s so deep and unfair, we might say
with terrible sadness, “How
could they do
this to me?”
- ANGER: The beginning of forgiveness is terminating
the anger. Understand that anger is a gift to help discover
the pain so we can deal with it. When
we discover the pain of fear, the pain of betrayal, the pain
it is then
that we will be able to address the cause of pain. Once we have
done so, magically
hateful people aren’t
much fun to be around and certainly don’t
bring much to
With the passage of time, if we haven’t gotten rid of the anger and forgiven
the person, we become RESENTFUL. One of the most dangerous things in life is
a resentment that we can justify – something
happened to you
that anyone agrees
with you that
it was wrong.
are hurting more than
them. Lack of
eat you alive.
It causes many
- Then we become BITTER.
- HATE: We cannot shake the memory of how much we were hurt. We want the
person who hurt
us to suffer as we have suffered.
HATE is like a
eating away at you.
a natural response
wish her husband “aids”, or that his
would make life miserable for him. But hate needs healing because hate
and nothing good comes from it. We can hate someone close to us because
perhaps they had been a person we trusted. We expected them to be loyal
to us but instead they wronged us. Hate is a choice we make within
to either pick up the pieces or let the pieces ruin our lives. We make
The real truth is that the person we hate is not hurt nearly as much
as we are. Don’t commit suicide with hate. Excerpts
from the book “Forgive & Forget” by
healing – Example
Ten Boom (see
“He came to me as the church was emptying, beaming and
bowing, “How grateful
am for your message Fraulein”, he said. “To think
that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand
thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often
about the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.
as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the
sin of them. I tried to smile; I struggled to raise my hand.
I could not. I felt nothing,
the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so I breathed
a silent prayer, Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your
forgiveness. As I took his hand in
the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along
my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me
to him, while my heart sprang a love
this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered
that it is not our forgiveness any more than our goodness that
the world’s healing
on, but on His. When he tells us to love our enemies, He gives,
along with the command, the love itself!” Corrie
Lewis Smedes says that we go through THREE STAGES when we forgive
someone and we are adding a fourth:
1. We rediscover the humanity of the person who wronged us.
- HEALING: We are given the magic eyes to see the person who hurt
us in a little different light. We see some circumstances from
their position instead of your own. (Story: Relatives-Set up appt.
with them to talk.)
2. We surrender our right to get even.
- We should give up vengeance but not justice. Example:
3. We wish that person well.
- The miracle of healing and forgiving happens when a person feels
the pain but yet forgives the other person who opened the wound.
We will know that forgiveness has begun when we recall those who
hurt us and yet we feel the power to wish them well.
4. We are adding: Peace – Peace that passes all understanding.
That’s when you know that you have totally forgiven. It is
Remember the words we started with from Matthew 6:14? Here is what
the Bible says about forgiveness: “For if you forgive men
when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive
you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will
not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14
THE IDEA OF COMING TOGETHER: You can invite the person who hurt
you back into your life again and if they come honestly, love can
move you both to a new and better relationship. Sometimes the other
person doesn’t forgive and forget or they don’t want
reconciliation so that means you have to be healed alone.
Sometimes our heart cries out for forgiveness
because of the unfair hurt we caused someone else. Like the memory of lying
to someone who trusted us or when we neglected
someone we loved when they
had depended and trusted us, and then we let them down. We don’t have to be a bad person
to do bad things. The pain we caused another person becomes the
hate we feel for ourselves. We judge and convict ourselves. We
sentence ourselves in our hate of ourselves.
Tom had been involved in a fraternity hazing in college, during
which there had been a terrible accident. A boy had been
and Tom could not forgive himself. He married and it lasted 6 years.
He went from one job to another. Then after 6 years, he had an
awful confrontation with the mother of the boy who had died. She
looked him straight in the face and said, “Tom, years ago
I found it possible to forgive you. Your friends forgave you, and
God forgave you. “Who do you think you are to be the only
one unwilling to forgive?” When he finally forgave himself,
he was able to change his life. His wife came back and he eventually
worked into a fine job. You see an unwillingness to forgive yourself
can be self-destructive. There are some people who cannot admit
when they did something wrong, because they can’t forgive
themselves. If you can’t admit that you did something wrong,
then you can’t learn from your mistakes. Nor can you grow.
Accept forgiveness. Share forgiveness for those who have wronged
Do you have any forgiveness that needs to
be dealt with? A parent?
A spouse or former spouse? A child? A sister or brother? A friend?
Do you want to fix it?
HERE ARE 4 STEPS IF YOU HAVE A FORGIVENESS ISSUE:
1. Die to self. The Bible says in Gal. 5:19, to die to hatred,
discord, jealously, fits of rage, selfish ambition, envy, etc.
We accomplish that by opening up ourselves to grace. Grace is what
kills our foolish pride. Grace is what enables us to pray for our
enemies or for those who have wronged us. Through God’s grace
He replaces our self with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
2. Start praying for your enemies (those who have hurt you). It’s
really difficult to stay angry with someone you are praying for.
Jesus told us to love our enemies and to pray for them. Matt. 5:44.
3. Finally go to this person and say the six magic words that the
human race has such a hard time with: “I’m sorry.
Will you forgive me?” Watch what happens, not just for
the relationship but what happens inside you. It will remove
all those hard bitter feelings and will leave you feeling soft,
refreshed and renewed like you’ve been born again. Peace
and love will again abide in your heart. That’s how you
know that your anger and bitterness is resolved.
4. Remember that forgiving another person doesn’t necessarily
mean that you have to have a close relationship with that person
but it means that you have let go of the bitterness and
bad feelings towards that person. They no longer control your feelings. You
have an inner peace towards them and feel the power to wish them
Part II. What To Do To Gain The Peace That Passes All Understanding
1. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist
to know when reparative action is necessary.
When we are offended – we are fearful, frustrated, and have our
- When either you or your spouse is closed off and not
talking to or connecting with the other.
Whenever the marital peace is disturbed – when neither feels
safe to share feelings or express needs with one another.
2. When you hurt others, confess with humility,
and repair the damage.
Be gentle – a soft demeanor turns away your partner’s
anger. Say, you are sorry, please forgive me. (or for my attitude)
Prov. 15: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh
word stirs up anger.”
Make them feel safe and sure – value their feelings and
Take all the responsibility that is yours, and don’t point to the other’s
faults. Even if you believe they are 90% responsible for the
trouble, you are 100% responsible for your 10% of the total harm.
3. When others hurt you, forgive
them, and release them to the Lord. Let
Him deal with them by setting them free – setting us
free! Untying the knot that binds them in your mind.
- Releasing them to God also release you from the corrosive
effects of anger and bitterness that will poison your life.
Use Matt. 18 formula - don’t put them into prison in your
mind. Release the person as of they had never done anything wrong
against you. Think about
all the things we have done against God.
- “I release them to you God, there your problem,
I have forgiven them.
Don’t give Satan an advantage, act quickly and repair the
When we offend someone – they don’t want to talk,
look or touch us. We need to repent.
Holding onto anger and refusing to forgive is like buying “rat poison” to
kill the rat, but then taking and dying from the poison yourself.
- We release the person for our sake. People who have
offended you will just go on in their life not caring about your
hurt feelings. So, who is getting
hurt by your holding on to anger? You are!
- The resentment effect is like gangrene. You lose the
light of God.
- You cannot afford to let anger take root in your life.
- Without naming names, whom do you need to go and confess
your sins because they were hurt by your actions, and
how should you approach them?
- Without naming names, whom do you need
to forgive for
the hurt they caused you – whether thee incident was yesterday or years ago – and
how should you release them to God in order to be
- Talk over your plan with someone you trust, like
a friend, pastor, or spouse. This will make you
and will give you
to follow through with your plan of action.
THE QUESTION IS ASKED, “EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE FORGIVEN, CAN YOU FORGET?” Forgiving
does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory but
once you have forgiven someone, it can become a positive memory rather than
a negative memory.
Story (Forgiveness in family)
True forgiveness is emotional closure from anger,
hurt and bitterness.
Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed
memory is not a deleted memory.
CLOSING SONG (tape) – “Beyond
Justice to Mercy”
The Art of Forgiving by Lewis Smedes
Forgiven by Randy Barber
I Should Forgive, But… by Dr Chuck Lynch
Overcoming Hurts and Anger by Dwight Carlson, MD
Making Anger Your Ally by Neil Clark Warren
The Secrets of a Lasting Marriage by Norman Wright
Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them by Paul Hegstrom
Making Love Last Forever by Gary Smalley
The Language of Love by Gary Smalley and John Trent
The Misunderstood Emotion by Carol Tavis