Focus: Taking responsibility
Proverbs 14:16-17 (NKJV) A wise man fears and departs from evil, but a fool rages and is self-confident. A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of wicked intentions is hated.
If you’re angry, it’s usually for a reason. Some people want to be angry and will use just about any reason as an excuse. Other people don’t want to be angry, but have suffered some kind of an offense that has left them feeling that way.
An important step to take in determining how much power anger has over your life, is to think about how often you’re angry. Do you get angry once in a while? Hardly ever? Every now and then? More than once a day? Or do you live in a perpetual ‘condition’ of anger—as though, ‘angry’, is just part of ‘who you are’?
If anger has always been a problem—whether it results in outbursts or if it’s repressed—try to remember when and where it started and why. Some people have lived with a spirit of anger for a very long time and they’ve never stopped to think about how it all began.
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A person’s tendency toward anger can sometimes have to do with something that may have happened years ago that was never resolved. If you can remember anything that might have been related to it—you could begin to make it a detailed matter of prayer. If you can’t remember how it started—pray that you will be able to do so.
Overcoming anger has many benefits, but a person with an anger problem, first has to be willing to admit they have a problem, before they can come to any solutions. The reason a lot of anger problems go ‘on and on’, is that the angry person always thinks the problem belongs to someone else. Even as you’re reading this, you might be thinking of another person who has an anger problem. Let’s not think about anyone else but you right now.
The thought of having an anger problem yourself might be offensive to you. Well, if you truly think you don’t have a problem with anger, just stay with me, anyway.
Let’s take another look at the verses above. Proverbs 14:16-17 says, “A wise man fears and departs from evil, but a fool rages and is self-confident. A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of wicked intentions is hated.”
Those verses give a few good reasons for overcoming anger—if you do have a problem with it. The verses also give some of the characteristics of a person who is angry. Take a moment to consider your own ways. Do other people think you’re ‘bossy’? Do they think of you as a person who is known to ‘blow up’ when you don’t get your way? How many friends have you lost because of ‘misunderstandings?’ Are you quick to give others compliments?—or criticism?
Some people haven’t ever stopped to contemplate the results of their anger and how destructive it is to their relationships and their own personal health. Anger is a robber. It robs people of joy. It steals joy from the person with the anger problem and also from the people who didn’t ask for it, but have to deal with it.
Most anger is evil. It goes against the characteristics given as, ‘the fruit of the Spirit.’ In Galatians 5:22-26, we read: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
If we say we are a Christian and don’t have the ability to control our desire to provoke others, God can help. He wants to work with anyone who is willing to admit they have a problem. The acid test is whether you are willing to ask God to search your heart in the area of anger and ask Him to reveal it to you, if you need to change. Can you do that?
Anger doesn’t solve anything. It is totally uncreative. It is completely unproductive. A person who has a defensive nature might counter with the fact that Jesus was once angry with those who had made His Father’s house into a ‘den of thieves’, but generally speaking, the Word of God promotes peace—not anger.
Declaration: I will find new strength by taking a close look at myself in regard to anger. I will search my heart for the cause of any anger I may have. I will take responsibility for the damage my anger may have caused in my own life and to others. I will humbly ask God to forgive me and heal those I have hurt by my anger. I will ask God to fill my heart with His love so that this defect in my character will improve. I believe God has the power to heal me and change me.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.