Resolving Anger and Being Happy

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;

do not fret–it only leads to evil.

~Psalm 37:8 (NIV).

Unhappiness is simply a minor form of anger. In this mental, emotional and spiritual place we’re disgruntled with the unfairnesses of life. We’re always discontent here, lacking gratitude, for there is nothing to be grateful for. That’s the worldview. Then later when we feel better we perhaps might feel guilty for being so harsh on the world or others.

This sort of malady is something we have quite routinely and it always affects our relationships, and quite badly at times.

We can resolve it. As famous pastor A.W. Tozer might say, ‘We can turn about face from the negative to the positive in one swift movement.’ And this is the advice of good resolve made in the above verse.

“Do not fret” is perhaps better translated in the original Hebrew as, “Do not become enraged,” at either life’s inequities or at God himself.[1] Remember that any unhappiness or complaint is really a form of anger or fretting–and it always leads to evil i.e. thoughts, words or deeds that are set against ourselves, others or God–or a combination of these.

The best way I know to turn about face from complaint, worry and unhappiness is to be grateful, and this is best done (i.e. underpinned) by being “adult” about our world and having a mature attitude towards all things.

Being adult regarding our relationships is about being reasonable, responsible, rational, reliable, realistic and logical as much as possible. This is mostly regarding our expectations, interactions and responses to all the people in our midst, particularly family, co-workers, neighbours and friends–those people who’re in our lives for the season or for good–and our circumstances.

I know quite intimately, as you may do too, the negative power of anger, be it poised in unhappiness or out-of-control in violent rage. Anger affects us all. The best way to control anger and augment happiness is to get onto the front foot and work hard and tirelessly to become more adult in our expectations of ourselves and others and our responses to life in general.

This is both a vital and well-rewarded commitment we make when we resolve, one-day-at-a-time, to be more adult in our worldview. Peace and happiness can soon and eventually be ours.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

[1] Craig C. Broyles, Psalms – New International Biblical Commentary (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1999), p. 179.