TEMPTED Time for anger man­age­ment

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION -

E CON­TINUE the jour­ney in un­der­stand­ing and over­com­ing some of the most dan­ger­ous

temp­ta­tions we face. To­day, we look at anger.

Anger is a se­ri­ous is­sue which is demon­strated in mul­ti­ple ar­eas of our so­ci­ety. If we’re hon­est, it’s a big is­sue in many of our fam­i­lies, our lives and our churches. Anger re­ally is a choice that kills.

We recog­nise that anger is a le­git­i­mate emo­tion given by God. We all get an­gry; even Je­sus got an­gry. Anger is pri­mar­ily a pro­tec­tive emo­tion, de­signed to pro­tect us from harm or from loss of some­thing of value. But the prob­lem is that anger can con­trol a per­son.

There are at least five types of anger that we strug­gle with: rag­ing, silent, pas­sive-ag­gres­sive, pout­ing and sar­cas­tic anger.

The an­gry per­son who gets loud and phys­i­cal shows rag­ing anger. But Proverbs 29:11 NLT says, “Fools vent their anger, but the wise qui­etly hold it back”. But silent anger is hid­den be­neath the sur­face and usu­ally isn’t dealt with in a healthy way. Per­sons who strug­gle with this type of anger just pre­tend that it’s not there. But Psalms 55:21 NLT says of that per­son, “His words are as smooth as but­ter, but in his heart is war. His words are as sooth­ing as lo­tion, but un­der­neath are dag­gers!”

This scrip­ture could also ap­ply to pas­siveag­gres­sive anger, which op­er­ates in a more sin­is­ter way. Pas­sive-ag­gres­sive anger is played out when per­sons re­spond by heap­ing guilt, giv­ing the silent treat­ment or even ig­nor­ing oth­ers.

Pout­ing anger com­plains, moans, and pouts for at­ten­tion and per­sons in the throes of this, aren’t re­ally in­ter­ested in fix­ing the sit­u­a­tion. They just want to pout about it for at­ten­tion.

Sar­cas­tic anger leaves a wound that is far more deadly. Per­sons use this method by mak­ing oth­ers feel worth­less, us­ing sar­casm to cut you down.

So even though anger is a le­git­i­mate emo­tion and has its place, I want to look at what the Bi­ble says about learn­ing to deal with your anger in healthy ways. Look at what Je­sus says about anger, “You have heard that our an­ces­tors were told, ‘You must not mur­der. If you com­mit mur­der, you are sub­ject to judge­ment.’ But I say, if you are even an­gry with some­one, you are sub­ject to judge­ment ...” (Matthew 5:21-22 NLT.)

Why would Je­sus say this? There are three rea­sons.

Anger leads to other sins: Je­sus knew that anger leads to other, more de­struc­tive sins, like mur­der. Some­times, the mur­der is in our hearts un­til one day it man­i­fests it­self in our words and through our hands.

Anger de­stroys you from the in­side out: Un­re­solved anger is an emo­tional is­sue that de­stroys you from the in­side out. It can cause high blood pres­sure, heart prob­lems and other health is­sues.

Anger gives the devil a foothold in your life: It gives him ac­cess to con­trol and ‘own’ that emo­tional area in your life. When you keep it in your heart, he’s just wait­ing to push your but­tons.

But God wants you to live a life free from the bondage of anger – God wants to give you peace, and here are three steps that can help you to gain free­dom from anger.

1. RECOG­NISE THE TRIG­GER OF ANGER

ACP Dr Gary Welsh urges Ja­maicans to be­come bet­ter cit­i­zens.

We all have dif­fer­ent trig­gers, so what sets you off? Gen­er­ally, there are three deep sources of anger: hurt, frus­tra­tion and in­se­cu­rity. If you know your trig­gers, you can be­gin to live out this verse from Eph­e­sians 4:26 NLT, “And ‘don’t sin by let­ting anger con­trol you.’...” Anger may come, but if you catch it and keep it from tak­ing con­trol of you, then you don’t fall into sin. How many times have you done or said some­thing in anger and then five min­utes later, you re­gret it? In Proverbs 13:16 GNT, Solomon wrote, “Sen­si­ble peo­ple al­ways think be­fore they act.” Try do­ing two things be­fore you blow up – pause and pray when your tem­per is ris­ing, then ex­press what made you an­gry in an as­sertive but non-con­fronta­tional way. “A gen­tle an­swer de­flects anger, but harsh words make tem­pers flare.” (Proverbs 15:1 NLT)

3. RE­LAX AND TRUST THAT GOD IS IN CON­TROL

God is in charge and is the ruler of the uni­verse. You’re not Him! The Psalmist said, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalms 46:10 NLT) Don’t lose it be­cause of what some­body else did, just be still. Say, ‘God, You’re in con­trol of this sit­u­a­tion, and in my life’. The great ex­am­ple of this is Je­sus and He will give you the power to do it. 1 Peter 2:23 NLT, says of Je­sus, “He did not re­tal­i­ate when he was in­sulted, nor threaten re­venge when he suf­fered. He left his case in the hands of God, who al­ways judges fairly.” Some­times our anger is a re­minder that things aren’t right be­tween us and God. It’s a re­minder that we need to re­lax, trust and sur­ren­der to Him. God wants us to over­come and we over­come by al­low­ing Him to be in con­trol of our lives, and re­sist­ing the temp­ta­tion, in His power. Sur­ren­der to­day and say, ‘God, I want you to work in my life, I want your way more than I want re­venge. God, I want your peace, I want your pres­ence, and I want your heal­ing.’ Al­ways re­mem­ber that “The Lord is lov­ing and mer­ci­ful, slow to be­come an­gry and full of con­stant love.” (Psalm 145:8 GNT)

2. RE­STRAIN YOUR­SELF AND THINK BE­FORE YOU ACT

PHOTO BY ORANTES MOORE

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