April 10, 2014

“Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” – James 1:19-20

Most everyone has a hot button!  You know, that “thing” that sets you off!

  • How do you respond sitting in traffic, or when someone cuts you off, or drives too close?  If so have you ever asked yourself: why is it that some stranger has so much power over your emotions?
  • How about when someone embarrasses you or doesn’t treat you with the respect that you think you deserve?
  • Poor or slow service at a restaurant?
  • Making a major purchase only to find that you could’ve saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars had you waited a month?
  • Are you so competitive that you can’t even stand for your team to lose a pickup game?

Regardless of what infuriates you, you will never get a handle on the anger until you figure out the reason for such anger.  Without stripping out the root cause, it’s much like putting a coat of paint on a dirty wall.  It will peel off in no time!

If you like “losing it” then you need not listen to the rest of this.  But if you would like to change, begin with at least admitting you have an anger problem.  Ask those around you if they see or even sense anger in your life and when they do, to step in and remind you to take a breath.  I know our pride often makes it hard to admit we have an issue with anger or anything else for that matter, but without acknowledging the issue there’s no chance of change!

Here are 5 suggestions I use to tame my own impulse to misuse anger. Albeit not always successfully, but they really do help!

  1. Recognize that misusing anger is sin, thus destructive.
  2. Try and see the humor/lighter side in what angerd you?
  3. Take a deep breath and ask yourself: “What good will come of this?”
  4. Take a break if possible walk away from the situation.
  5. Memorize or at least be familiar with the verse below so that when anger is stirred Paul’s words come to mind.

Remember: unresolved anger turns into wrath/rage, and wrath/rage will take you down a lonely road because no one likes to be around a person filled with rage.

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:31