Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dealing With Anger

There are many viewpoints on anger. Some people feel that:
          We have the right to be angry if someone hurts us.
          Anger is a sin, so we should try to avoid it.
          We should not waste time getting mad; instead we should just try to get even!
          People who lose their temper on a regular basis are emotionally immature.
          It is okay for Christians to get angry, but they should show it differently than non-Christians.

There are many different reasons why we get angry, including:
          Someone calls us a name.
          We get a bad grade on a test.
          We do something wrong and our parents ground us.
          Our iPod gets stolen.
          Our best friend tells a lie about us.
          A teacher at school (or the boss at work) blames us for something we did not do.
          We lose a $20 bill at a football game.
          A bully pushes us in the locker room.
          Our parents want us to do a list of chores before we can go hang out with our friends.

Regardless of our viewpoint on anger or the reason that we get angry, anger is something that every person has to learn how to deal with if we want a meaningful life.

Proverbs 14:17 - A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man who schemes is hated.
          Though we all lose our temper from time to time, some people seem to have a “short fuse.” They are quick tempered.
          There are many factors that push some people to have less control over their temper than others. Perhaps they were abused as a child and they do not know how to deal with the anger they feel as a result. Perhaps they have a difficult home life and have not been taught how to deal with others in positive ways. Perhaps they have a chemical imbalance or some kind of mental illness.
          Regardless of the reason for a person being short tempered, their behavior is often viewed as foolish by others. They say and do things that make them look childish or immature.

Proverbs15:1 - A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.
          There will be many times in life in which we will have to deal with a person who is upset.
          This verse tells us to respond to a person who is angry with a gentle answer.
          This can be hard to do when what we really want is to give them a piece of our mind. But if we give a gentle answer to a person who is angry, it often defuses the situation enough to have a real conversation with the person and actually resolve the issue instead of just having a screaming match with them.
          Though some people may thing that offering a gentle answer to an angry person may make us appear weak, in reality, it gives us the power in the situation. It makes us appear to be the person in control. The person who is in control is often viewed by others as the person who is “right.” Therefore, following the advice of this verse is very advantageous.

Ephesians 4:26-27 - Be angry and do not sin. Don't let the sun go down on
your anger, and don't give the Devil an opportunity.
          This verse recognizes that it is impossible to go through life without ever getting angry. But as Christians, we can learn to deal with our anger in healthy ways so our anger does not fester.
          This verse tells us to deal with our anger each day instead of letting it grow over a period of time.
          This is important because the longer an issue exists; the harder it becomes to resolve it. Sometimes a simple conversation can clear up a misunderstanding if it happens before too much drama erupts. But if a difficult conversation is put off, there are times that it becomes almost impossible to resolve.
          There are many healthy ways we can deal with anger, such as: take a walk, work out, listen to music, draw, write a poem, watch a funny TV show, talk to friend, pray.
          This verse tells us not to give the Devil an opportunity. The Devil is looking for ways that he can mess up our relationship with God and our relationship with others. If we give him a chance, he will cause serious trouble in our lives. Because the Devil loves anger, if our lives are filled with anger, it gives the Devil many chances to impact our relationships in negative ways.
          Though we all get angry from time to time, if we have a short fuse, we must deal with the underlying issues in our lives that cause us to become angry so easily.
          When other people are mad at us and say harsh things to us, we should learn to respond in a gentle way so the situation does not escalate.
          As Christians, we should resolve our issues with other people as quickly as possible so that it does not fester in our minds and give the Devil an opportunity to interfere in our relationship with God or with others.

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