Anger

April 2008 220Displeasure, feeling wronged, disrespected, etc.; causing strong emotional reactions, even rage

Anger is momentary madness.  Horace

Expressing anger when you feel angry nearly always makes you angrier.  Carol Tavris

Anger helps straighten out a problem like a fan helps straighten out a pile of papers.  Susan Marcotte

   Anger is not always bad. How we express our anger is very important. It can be a catalyst that causes us to take action when things need to be done. Good and desirable things have been done because people became angry.

   Such things as women’s suffrage, our civil rights progress and neighborhood crime watches are some examples of anger and outrage being used as a powerful force to right wrongs that had existed far too long. Anger is a very powerful emotional force. Properly harnessed with its energy directed toward issues and undesirable circumstances can result in wonderful progress and significant improvements.

   Unfortunately, too often it is erupts un-harnessed and out of control. It does more to worsen problems than to remedy them. Lashing out and saying or doing things later regretted is often automatic and unconscious. Many bad things result from uncontrolled anger and rage. Crimes of passions, physical assaults and “road rage” are examples of uncontrolled anger. Those with mental illnesses sometimes allow their anger to cause them to do horrible things.

  Too many of us tend to vent our anger toward loved ones. We often erupt in anger before we allow our brain to think. In the company of our friends and loved ones, we tend to be more unguarded. As a result, we are more apt to react first and think afterwards. Losing our cool; sticking our foot in our mouth, and other unwise and foolish things are results of acting before thinking. Expressing anger before thinking can have very serious consequences. Spousal and child abuse can result because of uncontrollable anger. Some of these abusers never display anger anywhere outside of the family setting. Uncontrolled anger and rage is an extremely serious issue in our society.

    The adage of counting to ten when angry is very wise. We should always allow our emotions to cool to prevent acting in uncontrolled and harmful ways. Such things as taking deep breaths, leaving or turning away or sleeping on the issue before reacting are useful. To be fully functioning and mature, we should be able to control and channel our anger rather than it controlling us. Anger control and management is something to be mastered by all. To be the best we can become, anger should be something that does not often get the best of us. We need to learn to use our anger wisely not harmfully.  

Challenge: How often do you get angry? Can you control your emotions when you get angry? Do you vent your anger on your loved ones? You should honestly address any anger issues. You are responsible for your anger and for your actions when angered. Review the circumstances of your last serious outburst of anger. If you went overboard you may have a problem. Decide to take some corrective actions. It is critical you learn to control this.

Wisdom:For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spiritual: (NIV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.  Galatians 5:22

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.  Ephesians 4:26

He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.  Prov 14:29

We are imperfect and will do things we will regret. Anger sometimes too often gets the best of us. We should focus our energies on being kind, gentle, and forgiving. It our own strength we are very limited. With God’s help we can control our anger and overcome it. We can be angry at things and circumstances instead of at the people we care about. We can use our anger for good. God’s love acting through us will help us to put anger in its proper place.

Prayer:  Help me to control my anger. Help me to react in loving and kind ways and not in anger.

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