Letting Go of Anger

“Be angry and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil and opportunity.” ~Ephesians 4:26-27

I blew it big time yesterday.  Yikes!  It was even Sunday, the day of rest!  I should have reminded my temper to take a break, too.

We Type A’s can be a pretty feisty bunch.  Our controlling natures lead to big time blow-ups, especially when we sense our control of a situation slipping.

Enter: a loving spouse.  I had a disagreement with mine and before I knew it, I was yelling and he was looking at me like I had just landed in his office via a spaceship from Mars.

I knew my anger was wrong.  Even if I had a valid point to make, the volume of my shouting was drowning out any validity.

Type As have a lot of good ideas.  We just need to be patient in presenting them.  Pounding on a point is not an option.

I could sense myself slipping off into the lala land of crazy anger on Sunday.  Before I did any more damage, I managed to yell,

“I know I’m not communicating very well right now, so I’m gonna go away and come back when I calm down!”

Granted, I should have toned down the volume to say this, but at least I got the words out and made my retreat to lock myself in the bathroom for a while!

If you find yourself being overtaken by anger, here are a few tips to help you escape before you, like me, get sucked into the craziness of horrible communication:

___Slow Down! Think. Step Out. Wait. Write it down and tear it up. All these words can help someone cope with angry outbursts.

___Remember anger is a secondary emotion that stems from fear, frustration, or hurt. Figure out what your anger triggers are. Usually what causes anger has nothing to do with the person you are yelling at.
Perhaps you have some insecurity from your past which makes you react in a negative way to certain words or comments.  Think about this.  Pray about this.

When you discover the trigger or deep source of your anger, take control of those thoughts before they control you (and your loud mouth).  The Bible gives us a great verse to focus on:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 

— 2nd Corinthians 10:5

When our thoughts and actions gravitate to places which are not in line with Jesus, let’s remember this verse and “take those thoughts captive.”

Here’s the low-down on anger:

Not all anger is bad. Even Jesus demonstrated righteous anger.  Just check out his actions outside of the temple in Matthew 21:12-13:

Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.  “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’

Jesus did not hang on to this anger, however.  In the next verse, He is healing, reaching out, loving.  Unlike me, Jesus did not hold grudges.  Like Jesus, we should not let our anger take root.

If we let anger take root, we set ourselves up for problems. Unresolved anger is one of the major causes of divorce. It has the ability to rob someone’s joy.

How can we get anger under control? Here are some tips:

1.Understand where your anger came from. If you can ID the true cause of your anger, you can let it go.
__Are you angry because your expectations were not met?
__Are your expectations practical?
__Is there some childhood insecurity which is triggering your anger?
__Can you avoid the situation which sparks your anger?

2. Redirect your angry thoughts.
___Pray
___Read the Bible
___Memorize 2 Corinthians 10:5

3. Exercise regularly
___Physical activity can release pent up emotions.

4. Let anger go.
___Memorize Ephesians 4:26-27
___Ask God:  Please help me forgive and release my anger without hurting anyone.
___Remember what Jesus said on the cross:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  ~ Luke 23:34

 

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