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Letting Go

This is, in my opinion, the most difficult expression to master. It’s not even an expression, really, but it’s definitely a valid and attainable response to our anger. Letting go is exactly as is seems—it’s choosing not to hang on to your anger—it’s choosing to forgive and forget.

Letting go is not suppressing your anger or ignoring it. It’s not invalidating your unmet needs or saying that they are not worthy desires. That is not healthy, and it leads to imploding, as we talked about earlier. What letting go really requires is surrender. It’s about giving up a need for control.

Letting go requires a level of humility that recognizes it cannot always get its own way. It values its own opinion, but also values the opinions of others, and realizes that there are some things that just aren’t worth fighting for.

Sometimes, you need to let go when it’s nobody’s fault or when an offense is unintentional (like your five-year-old spilling their drink on the floor). Other times, a situation is beyond your control (like changing the political strategies of North Korea, unless God’s called you to do that, of course). And sometimes the person you’re angry at may be dead or no longer able to reconcile with you. You can’t control these things, and your anger serves no purpose but to cause harm to yourself and others. That’s when you need to choose to let go of your anger, to forgive, and to move on.

Letting go can bring peace, unity, and freedom to situations that could easily and unnecessarily bring tension, separation, and bondage. But in other matters (particularly involving strong moral convictions), letting go would be a tragic replacement for assertiveness. As Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
But when should you be assertive in your anger, and when should you let it go? Anger has a legitimate and constructive purpose to establish righteousness and to establish God’s Kingdom, life, and values in the earth. If your anger is bringing life (or has the potential to bring life), be assertive. Make a difference. Use your anger as motivation to reveal God’s truth in a situation—toward improving life for everyone involved. But if your anger serves only to cause hurt and division, it is probably best that you let it go.

The consequences to letting go are almost all positive, with the exception that it won’t improve a situation where assertiveness should be involved. As we’ve already talked about, letting go will bring peace to your own heart, and will maintain peace and unity with others by simply avoiding the negative effects of exploding and imploding.

Continue to Freedom from Anger Problems ->
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