Thursday, October 9, 2014

When someone makes you angry

All of us have people in our lives who drive us crazy, whom we dislike with a passion.  Come on – be honest!  You have at least one of these people in your life!  You probably have spent countless hours reliving the moments when this person was unfair, unappreciative, or inconsiderate of you.  Even when you think of that person it bumps up your blood pressure.

The best course of action when dealing with this kind of person is to not let them make you angry.  Getting angry doesn't improve the situation, and as I have discovered the hard way, life’s too short to waste getting angry.

Getting angry at someone for being who they are makes as much sense as getting mad at your desk for being a desk.  If we had that persons genes, background, experience, we would be that person. More often than not, we might as well be him because we really are angry at ourselves.

Now, anger is a God-given emotion.  But it also is a secondary emotion.  Something else triggers it: hurt, embarrassment, a blocked goal, being misunderstood, etc.  Anger is an emotion that can take control of you if you don’t let the Holy Spirit control it.

The Bible says it over and over: Be slow to anger (James 1:18).  The anger of a man cannot achieve the righteousness of God (James 1:19).  Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.  If you do, it overcomes you (Ephesians 4:26-27).

Nothing will destroy your reputation more than being a hothead.  Bobby Knight won three NCAA titles while at Indiana University and is only one of two coaches in college history with 800 or more victories.  By any measure, he’s one of the greatest coaches of all time.  But when people think of Bobby Knight, their first thought is his volcanic temper, not his win-loss record.

So, how does one stop getting angry? Let me suggest a couple of things. (1) Stop speaking when angry.  Just stop it: (Proverbs 26:4; Proverbs 10:19; Proverbs 29:20; Proverbs 18:2; Proverbs 21:23; Proverbs 13:3). (2) Keep an anger log: When did you get angry? Why? What were the triggers? Then you can address triggers and deal with them. (3) Pray that the Spirit of God be in control of your emotions, thoughts, words and actions (Ephesians 5:18). (4) Memorize James 1:18-19 and apply it to your life.  These things will help you with anger.  I know. I am a recovering hot head.

P.S.  What’s the big deal about the church? Do I really need it? Does the church need me? Join me for worship this Sunday at 9:00 or 10:30 to discover the Bible’s answer to these questions.

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