August 16, 2016
A Plan for Anger Management, Part 2
In your anger, do not sin (Ephesians 4:26).
Friend to Friend
The people around us want to see what happens when life pushes our buttons and anger puts the squeeze on our emotions. While God created us with the capacity for strong emotions, it is our responsibility to control them instead of allowing them to control us. Yesterday, we looked at four ways to manage anger. Here are four more:
Psalm 37:8 “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath.”
I have witnessed the utter strength and beauty of our daughter and daughter-in-law as they gave birth to our beautiful grandchildren. The pain was excruciating, but both worked through each contraction by doing two things: controlling their breathing and choosing a focus point. We need to do the same when we are angry. Take a deep breath and focus on the peace of God.
James 1:19 “Everyone should be quick to listen.”
We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—to listen twice as much as we speak. When you find yourself getting angry, take time to listen to what the other person has to say. Make sure you understand their viewpoint. After you have reined in your emotions, offer a reply. Listening for the purpose of understanding plays a significant role in anger management.
Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath.”
It had been one of “those” mornings. I was behind schedule preparing to teach the women’s Tuesday morning Bible study at our church. I am sure I did not exude peace as I rushed around. I knew I needed to spend time alone with God before standing to teach His Word, so I found a room where I could escape for a few minutes of solitude. As I began to pray, the door flew open and crashed against the wall behind it as the husband of one of our group leaders burst into the room. I could tell by the look on his face that he was not happy and that whatever was wrong was definitely my fault. In a loud and angry voice, the man began to explain the problem, ending his tirade with the question, "And just what are you going to do about it?" I knew what I wanted to say to the man. I also knew God didn't want me to say it. In a rare moment of wisdom, I faced my accuser with a smile and whispered, "I'll tell you exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to do whatever it takes to make you happy."
I was unprepared for the man's reaction. His mouth fell open, and he stumbled backwards as if I had hit him. We stared at each other for a moment before he whispered, "Thank you." The man turned and almost ran out of the room. From that day on, he has been one of my strongest encouragers.
The next time someone makes you angry, put a smile on your face. It is hard to stay upset when you are smiling. The next time you are angry, choose to give a friendly smile of understanding, appreciation, or patience as you listen to the other side of the story.
1 Peter 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
The best way to manage anger is to prevent it in the first place. How? Balance your schedule and priorities so that you will not live in a constant state of frustration and exhaustion. Avoid spending time with angry people. We really do become like the people with whom we spend the most time. Pray constantly, asking the Holy Spirit to help you cultivate the habits that encourage peace – not anger. Memorize Scripture. The Word of God is a powerful weapon in dealing with and managing our emotions.
Anger is today’s emotional epidemic. What does it take to make you angry? Do you have a short fuse or a long one? How many relationships in your life have been damaged by your anger? Remember … more important than the way you were and more important than the way you are … is the way you can be. Right now, surrender your anger to God and thank Him for a new beginning.
Father, I need Your power and strength to help me control my anger. Forgive me for the damage and pain my anger has caused the people in my life. I want my emotional health to honor and please You.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Review all of the anger management tips we have explored. How can you plug these tips into your daily life? Recruit a girlfriend who will hold you accountable for the way you handle anger.
More from the Girlfriends
A word from Mary: I have a weekly Online Bible Study, Light for the Journey. I am very excited about a new study beginning September 5, Taking Down the Giants in Your Life. Do you struggle with fear, stress, jealousy, anger, and depression … the roadblocks to happiness and joy? Let’s tackle each one and see what God has to say. Join now and get all of 2016 lessons plus bonus studies in the summer.
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