Do you live with an angry person? Or do you know an angry person whom you must have lots of contact with? It can be a very hard place to be. Do you feel like you’re walking on eggshells afraid of the next angry outburst or their hardened heart of silence?

I was on the other end. I was the angry person. I made other people miserable–well, more accurately, my husband and children–with my cold heart, blaming words, negativity, and believing I was the pure one. It was everyone’s else’s fault. Well, more accurately, it was my husband and my children’s fault that I was miserable. It certainly couldn’t be me! Pure me!!!!! I only wanted other people to act right for my benefit and to make my path smooth. Why didn’t they want to do that? We’d all be more peaceful and they would escape the fury of my wrath. 

Yes, I did take some responsibility but Satan’s lies whispered, “If only he (or she) would change, then I could be who God wants me to be.” 

Somehow, in time, God intervened–and I responded. Of course, God was always trying to intervene and help but I fought it. But because I was terrified that I would kill my toddler in one of my rages, I finally admitted I was totally responsible for my reactions. I began to take full responsibility and admit that other people weren’t responsible. I rejected the lie “Since they don’t treat me the way I deserve, I can treat them horribly.”

I hope that angry person in your life comes to that truth faster than I did. And that it doesn’t take something hurtful to change their perspective. But in the meantime, you only need to take responsibility for your own choices.

Yet, it’s also true that you both are contributing to the conflict. I say that because no one can possibly perfectly respond in a godly manner in the face of anger. Your insecurities will be revealed and God wants to do something in your life through this. It’s not just about that angry person learning godliness–it’s also about you learning godliness. I’ve found that God allows a particular situation in a person’s life to bring them to an awareness of their own similar sin, or something related.

For instance, the husband has the apparent anger problem because he rages out loud and acts it out obviously. The wife reasons, “I’m not angry.” But maybe she should add to that statement, “…like that.” She might not be obviously angry but her anger might be in the way she mentally and bitterly rehearses every fault of his. He is The Rageaholic but she is The Bitteraholic. She shuts her heart off in cold rejection but justifies it by thinking, “But I’m not hurting anyone with angry words or reactions like he is!” From God’s perspective, because He looks at a heart’s motives, she is just as guilty as her husband, but in different ways. They both are reacting in disobedience to God. 

If you are open to allowing God to show you what He wants to do in your life, even in the midst of trying to avoid breaking the eggshells, you will be taking a huge step toward your own healing and strength. Out of that strength, God can empower you to react toward your Angry Person appropriately. Not with the goal of changing him or her, but with the desire to represent the Lord with a pure heart, a heart motivated by love, not self-protection.

(A cautionary word: If you live with an angry person or are in a dangerous situation or wonder if you are being abused, please talk to someone like a counselor or an expert in relationships. Find out if you are in an abusive situation. Often, the person who is being abused can’t see it. They are convinced it’s all their fault. If you think that, you could very well be being abused. Please get the help you need.)