Anger is such a misunderstood emotion to me. I am going to admit lately I seem to have struggled with waves of anger. Everything from political issues to issues on the home front, it has been a challenge for me to stay cool. Somedays I am not mad at certain situations and other days no matter how much I try to get my mind off of the situation the anger sits there and grows.
In my mind I can justify that I have every right to be angry, find a few friends to have a pity party with me and help me to keep the anger like a little pet mouse, petting it, feeding it, keeping it caged up with a wheel to run endless hours on. I have decided that’s not what I want to do. How I deal with anger and my response to issues has caused me to think.
Anger is good and sometimes can produce necessary results in certain situations. But uncontrolled anger that is never dealt with and never goes away is where my heart has found itself lately.
If you have ever studied death and dying, you would be aware of the Elisabeth Kubler Ross method. There are 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
While this theory is aimed at those who are walking thru the stages of grief after losing a loved one, I can somewhat identify with them in different situations I am facing. By no means am I trying to compare my issues with losing a loved one. But I think grief is at the basis of many things we face on a daily basis. Grief over broken relationships. Grief over the way we think things should have been. Grief over unfair situations.
In walking thru the stages of grief from denial to acceptance, I have had to ask myself….
Do I allow myself to automatically think the worst of a situation?
Do I assume things about peoples actions towards me and build up unnecessary anger towards them based upon my perceived thoughts toward them?
What is really at the bottom of my anger?
Is my anger producing anything good? Or is it just making me and everyone around me miserable?
Do I want to work thru the issues causing me anger? Or just blame others and live in misery?
Do I feel entitled to be angry?
Is it my responsibility to be angry? Or is this a situation I should never be carrying in the first place?
At the end of the day God is the creator of all of our emotions. He made us this way. But He also gave us a will and His spirit to help control it. The end result of His spirit living in us should be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
My prayer is this
God you see the hurt, frustration and anger I am feeling. Your spirit in me has given me the power to overcome these feelings produced by my flesh. I need your power and presence in my life to help me to overcome this. In my weakness You are made strong. To know that no person, place or thing can separate me from Your love for me. Help me to abide under the safety of your wings. Take control of my mind, thoughts and tongue so that your love, grace and mercy may abound.
May we allow God to be our guide in dealing with emotions.
At the end of the day what matters is that my heart is right with God. Not that I got my way or a situation worked out just the way I planned. But that God’s will was accomplished. When I take my focus off the situation and place it on Him, my anger starts to dissolve.
Anger is an emotion which will always be there. People are going to talk to us ugly, put us in unfair situations, paint us to be the “bad guys”, talk bad about us, etc. But my response to those situations should not illicit the response that they are looking for but what God is looking for.
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” James 1: 19-20 NLT