All of us, at some point, deal with situations, people, events, and circumstances which lead us to anger.
Today, you may be angry about the news you received.
You may be grappling with something repulsive you witnessed.
You may be at the end of the rope with your child’s rebellious actions.
You may have had it with a difficult co-worker or your boss.
Maybe your long, dreadfully slow commute drives you crazy.
You may be mad at the devil, sin, or your never-ending struggles.
You may be angry with yourself.
You may be mad at God.
In Ephesians 4:26-27 we read, “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
The dictionary defines anger as “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.” (dictionary.com)
Anger is a justifiable and necessary emotion – to some extent. It is perfectly fine for anyone to be angry. In fact, if there were no anger, some righteous actions would not be possible. Anger drives good people to action. However, unchecked anger can be dangerous and destructive.
- What or who pushes your buttons?
- How do you feel about them/it?
- How do you deal with anger?
- How can you let go of your anger?
- What is God saying about your anger issue?
- What are you going to do about this message?
God does not want us to remain in our anger. God discourages us from keeping anger boiling in our hearts. Here are 9 ways of dealing with anger:
- DELAY YOUR RESPONSE. You do not have to respond to every angering email, phone message, or tweet right away. Give it time. My uncle used to say, “Sleep over it.” Often, your feelings ease some the next day. If you have to respond, respond with finesse and grace.
- TALK TO SOMEONE. Talk with someone who is objective and wise. Seek wise advice. Some people knock some sense into you. They help you get a different perspective.
- WALK AWAY. Sometimes walking away is a sign of maturity. Take a walk, drive, run! Cool off. Think of other things.
- EVADE YOUR TRIGGERS. What are the triggers that set you off? Which buttons, when pressed make you angry? Identify those triggers, and change environments. Avoid the areas/situations which caused the anger in the past or which might trigger the anger again.
- ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. Physical activity is therapeutic. Physical activity lowers emotions. Physical activity cools you down. Take up boxing, go for a hike, play football, soccer, baseball. Sweat the anger out of yourself.
- UNDERSTAND. Seek to understand, and then to be understood (Steve Covey). Seek clarity. Ask if you heard correctly. At times, you may be angry at someone, yet you did not understand what they had been communicating. They may be expressing real feelings of which you are unaware.
- THINK. Think about the undesirable results of your aggressive behavior. You may say or do something you will regret. Will you be proud of your rapid response when you reflect on it tomorrow?
- PRAY. Pray about the situation first. Pray for the person who angered you. Prayer brings grace and perspective.
- FORGIVE. Move on. Let it go. Some people simply need our forgiveness. An act of forgiveness reflects our character and maturity.