30/30: Anger! Bloody Nose. 29 Times.

12 02 2008

788584anger-management-posters.jpgWe all struggle with anger. The average man looses his temper six times a week. The average woman three times a week. We often respond in one of two ways. Spewers express it. The have a hot temper, a short fuse and blow up. Stewers suppress it. They keep it inside, stay nothing and clam up. One explodes and one implodes, but neither handles their anger in a way that’s helpful, honors God and brings the results we want. Which are you? I’m a spewer.

A number of years ago on a camping trip in California, we were loading the car to leave, I got so upset that I began yelling at everyone in my family. I ended up throwing a bike and the handle bars hit me in the face leaving me with bloody nose. But the bloody nose was nothing compared to the damage I caused to Kathy and the kids. Spewers think we are just expressing what we are feeling, but what we are really doing is hurting and damaging those that we love the most. It was all over something trivial. In James 1:19-20 it says, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” When I first heard that verse years ago, it hit me like a ton of bricks, because my tendency is to be a spewer. If you’re like me, you’re good at living that verse in reverse…“Slow to listen and Quick to speak and quick to become angry.”

With God’s help, today is the day to change.

If you want to get control of your, the starting point is to quit blaming other people and other events for your anger. Anger is a choice. It’s not your spouse’s, your kids, your boss, your kids, or the dog’s fault. Here’s the cold hard truth I learned…It’s MY fault I’m angry. I needed to own up to that. In California, Kathy didn’t get angry at the same event, but I did. You are allowing yourself to get angry. It’s what you chose to believe about the event…what you are telling yourself…the words you are allowing to go through your mind. You’re called to be “slow to speak and quick to listen.” Instead of interpreting this event as a threat and a frustration, you need to reinterpret the event and look at it from God’s point of view. In the grand scheme of eternity, is this worth getting angry and hurting those around me with my words?

This past week I counted how many opportunities I had to get angry: 29. With the power of Christ, I accepted responsibility for my actions, let it go and was slow to speak and quick to listen 23 times. God is good and He can change you. If I would have taken that snapshot of my life fifteen years ago, it would have been 23 times I got angry and blew up. Christ really can forgive you and change you. Are you ready to allow Christ to change you? It starts with a simple confession. If you’ve never told anyone, anonymously post your anger secret on MySecretStory.org

If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

This Sunday, My Secret: MY SECRET SHAME

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