Anger Management 101

It seems there are obstacles to joy everywhere I turn. Anger is a big one. While I am by nature somewhat slow to anger, by the time I do get angry, those slowly building clouds have become a hurricane.

The bible doesn’t say, “Thou shalt not get angry,” but it does say “Be angry, and yet do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26). Over the years God has led me to several strategies for managing my emotional pot when it’s at a rolling boil.

One of the most effective strategies I’ve found is to go for a walk in our fields, removing myself from the situation before I sin. I am sure it would be amusing to see me practically running, as I barrel across a field, sputtering and crying out to God, while wide-eyed cows stare and birds fly up in a panic!

I think those walks help in several ways. No doubt going to God with my outburst is the most helpful - it gets it out (stuffing always backfires!), and He fills that spot in my heart with peace. He often also gives me wisdom into the situation - sometimes wisdom on how to handle it, sometimes on how my own sin brought it on in the first place.

I also think, being a physical creature, that the exercise itself helps (and I can assure you that when I storm, I storm FAST). My tightly clenched jaw, fists, stomach, SELF!, are slowly released by the effort of speeding over hills and panting out my grievances to God.

When all my built up energy is released through prayer and exercise, I am able to return to my family and be rational.

You know, I expect that God’s desire for me is to never get angry at all. To be so still on the inside, so constantly in His presence, that I am able to handle all circumstances in peace. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Col 3:15) But he is a gracious God, and meets me where I am.

1 comment:

  1. Oh boy! ANger is a BIG issue in my life. It's good to realize that anger itself isn't a sin, it's my expression of it that determines whether I'm sinning or not. Thanks for that reminder!


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