Anger Is Only Good for Changing Oneself
My mom was angry at me for two days because I told her to stop being mean to me. I asked her what the point of her anger was if she did not intend to change anything. Or did she intend to hurt me so much I would change? That is when I realized that anger is useless unless a person intends to change themselves.
According to an article in Psychology Today, anger is supposed to motivate us to take risks so that we can make compromises to protect our worth and well-being when threatened by conflict. The article explains that these risks to compromises are designed to ensure the welfare of all parties. This human nature to protect all of humanity suggests that we should use anger to change ourselves to attain our goals because we are willing to do something that previously stopped us with fear. We should not use anger to hurt someone so much that the person changes.
This behavior to protect people’s welfare reinforces the biblical teaching not to sin when angry (Ephesians 4:26). Because not sin is love (Matthew 22:39), not love is sin. Love is doing good things to people (Luke 2:14). Doing bad things to people must be not loving, and therefore, sin. Hurting people must be doing bad things as the Italian phrase to hurt someone “fare male a” literally translates to doing bad things to someone.
If we are not to hurt people when we are angry to create change, then the only person we can change is ourselves.