James 1:19-20 states we should be “slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” Yet, sometimes it just feels like a reflex. It seems like there is nothing we can do about this wild emotion rising up in us. Anger builds in us and we either explode or stuff it down in our heart somewhere. If you think you have successfully stuffed it away, you’re wrong! Your anger takes a toll on your face and in your body. It’s like trying to hold back a tidal wave. You will either explode uncontrollably later or become bitter or resentful.
One way we can deal with anger is to refuse to become angry by forgiving immediately and taking personal responsibility for our part in the situation. Secondly, we can quickly switch our focus from anger to problem resolution. Another great way to manage anger is to express anger through exercise and art regularly. This blog explores each of those ways to manage anger.
One of the best ways for a person to control their anger is to take personal responsibility. Personal responsibility means accepting our part of the blame for the situation. When we feel anger, this might require a quick prayer and some soul searching. After thinking a few minutes, we can usually find some way we contributed to the event that is angering us. Once we realize we are also to blame, we can a quickly confess and apologize to any other person that is involved. Anger has no time to take root.
Sometimes we simply do not play any part in the blame for a situation that has the potential to anger us. When this happens, it’s just best to look for a way to be thankful like saying, “At least it wasn’t worse.” We can also take heart in remembering God uses our situations for His purpose (although we may not be able to see it). He promises to work them for your good in Romans 8:28. It is always within our power to choose a positive perspective.
Ephesians 4:26 states, “’In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry… “ One way to avoid letting the sun go down on our anger is to shift our focus away from our angry feelings. We move the focus FROM our feelings TO our mind when we try to solve the conflict instead of arguing about it. Ask yourself, “How can we solve this disagreement?”
Communication is the best way to resolve conflicts with other people. Ask them in a calm way why they did what they did. Try to gain some understanding of their point of view. Ask them how they feel and tell them how you feel. Can you find a solution through compromise? Can you assign times, chores, or routines? Can you avoid the situation altogether? If you humble yourself and put the other person first, will this solve the problem? Brainstorm and work together to try to figure out how you can prevent the situation from happening again. Your relationship and peace of mind is worth the effort it takes to solve issues. Ask God to help you come up with solutions. He will honor your prayer when He sees you are serious about sheathing the sword of your anger. God cares about you and wants to give you the tools to solve conflicts.
Sometimes relationships become more about winning than actual arguments. If that is the case, maybe you both need more healthy competition in your lives. Stop arguing and join a bowling league! Ideally you two (you and your coworker, spouse, brother, etc.) could join a team together. If not, just join one yourself.
Above all, pray for a solution to recurring conflicts. Is your anger a problem in your life? Ask God to deliver you from your own anger in prayer. Our God delivers us from anger and restores joy. This is how we draw nearer to God.
EXERCISE & ART
We know that when one man punches another, he is expressing his anger. But what if the same man punches a volleyball across the net instead? Isn’t he still expressing his anger but in a more productive way? The human body was meant for physical activity. The expression of anger is just one more reason to squeeze about 20 minutes into your daily routine. You do not need a gym membership or treadmill. Click here for free workout videos designed for men and women to do at home. (Kinda like having your own personal trainer.)
Alternative ways to express anger would be to write in a journal or to dream up some creative fiction. Even drawing and painting can express anger. The quality of your art piece is not as important as the expression of your emotion–the download from your heart and soul.
Lord, We confess our sinfulness and unrighteous anger to You. Please help us to become angry less and deal with the anger inside of us in healthy ways. Thank You that You have the power to deliver us, the desire to deliver us, and great wisdom in all things.In Christ’s Name, Amen.
Consider anger you have held onto for a long time. When the sun goes down on your life, will you still be angry at those people? Fast forward to thoughts of you laying on your death bed. Will you regret all the time you wasted being angry? Will you mourn the relationships wounded by your anger? What should you have done with your time? Click here to ponder this with me in a poem called “From My Death Bed.”
© 2015 Kim Bond
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