The Difference Between Being Angry and Being Mad 

How often do you hear someone saying in a conversation, “that makes me so mad”? Have you heard someone say, “I’m so mad I could just….”? There are times when things happen around me and I am often disappointed or upset and someone will come up to me and ask me, “Doesn’t that just make you mad?” My response is always no. That’s not to say that I never get angry. There are often times when things are quite frustrating and yes, I often feel like I want to lash out, but I don’t. Why? Because I have learned early on that it’s okay to be angry, so long as my anger is channeled so that something constructive is done to bring results.

English: Angry woman.

English: Angry woman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why don’t I ever say that I’m mad? I never say I’m mad because I know there is a difference between being  angry and being mad. You see, anger is an emotion, while being mad is a state of mind. IF you look up the definition of the word mad you clearly see that there is a difference. Merriam-Webster define mad as , “having or showing severe mental illness, unable to think in a clear or sensible way, disordered in the mind; in other words, insane.” Madness goes far beyond anger. It’s not simply the next level of anger or another way of saying you’re angry, it’s literally saying that you have lost all control of your mental faculties.

There’s a reason the scripture tells us to be angry but not to sin. When you allow anger to fester and grow, you are fostering a ground where you stop thinking rationally. Anger is an emotion that can intensify other emotions, such as jealousy and fear. These emotions are not inherently negative, however, when these emotions are taken out of their proper purpose they lead to destructive outcomes.

When King Saul ruled Israel, he had every thing you could imagine at his fingertips. Yet, when God said to him that he had displeased him when he did something that God had not given him authority to do, and then told him that his reign would soon end and that someone else would rule instead of it going to his descendants, it made him angry. That anger grew as he began to see God’s favor upon David. It grew and intensified the more people began to praise David more greatly than he who was king. That anger grew so great that he literally lost his mind. There were times that the only thing that could bring him back to himself was the music that David played.

Is it possible that if we say we are mad often enough, no matter how trivial we think that word is, that we are declaring our own insanity? Proverbs 18:21 clearly states that death and life are in the power of our speech.  What we say has the power. Ultimately, we ought to choose our words carefully when we speak, for the words we speak create our reality. Choose to speak words carefully. If you’re upset, say that. If you’re angry, say that. If you know that you are sound of mind, as God created you, speak words that affirm that reality.

QUESTION: Do you take note of the words you speak? How are the words you speak shaping your reality?

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