Girlfriends in God - Mar. 24, 2010

March 24, 2010 

The Beatitudes of Anger Management 

Part 2 

Mary Southerland

Today's Truth 
Ephesians 4:26 "In your anger, do not sin."

Friend To Friend 
Anger is an emotional warning light that tells us something is wrong. We are hurt, frustrated, wronged or rejected but something has changed and we do not like it. Anger itself is not sin. In Ephesians 4:26, Paul warns, "In your anger, do not sin" which means that while God created us with the capacity for anger, it is possible to be angry and yet not sin. The key to dealing with anger is learning to express it correctly. Yesterday, we talked about four actions that will help us manage anger. Today, we will complete the list of choices we can make in controlling anger - instead of allowing it to control us.

Be focused.   

Psalm 37:8 "Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evil."

I witnessed the utter strength and beauty of our daughter-in-law as she went through hours of labor during the birth of our twin grandchildren. The pain was excruciating, but Jodi worked through each contraction by doing two things:  controlling her breathing and choosing a focus point. We need to do the same. When anger consumes you, take several deep breaths, releasing each one slowly as we focus on the peace of God. Sometimes, you may need to excuse yourself for a short break in order to gain the right perspective. If possible, try walking for a few minutes to work off anger rather than take it out on someone. Walk the dog or simply stroll around the block. Physical activity offers an outlet for anger. Getting into the habit of taking 30-minute walks several times a week will improve your overall state of mind and lessen the occurrence and intensity of your anger.

Be understanding.  

James 1:19 "Everyone should be quick to listen."

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—to listen twice as much as we speak. When you begin getting angry with someone, take time to listen to what the other person has to say. Make sure you understand that person's viewpoint. In fact, it might be a good idea for you to repeat it back to make sure you get the point. Only then, when you have processed that information and reigned in your emotions, should you offer a reply. Listening skills play a significant role in anger management.  

Be kind. 

Proverbs 15:1 "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."

The next time someone makes you angry, put a smile on your face. No, I am not kidding! It is hard to stay upset when you are smiling. Smiling is one of the best and most affordable anger management tips because you can do it anytime, almost anywhere, and to pretty much anyone. The next time you are angry, choose to give a friendly smile of understanding, appreciation, or patience as you listen to the other side of the story; and make sure it is a real smile—not a sarcastic grin. 

Be ready.

1 Peter 5:8 "Be self-controlled and alert."

The best way to manage anger is to prevent it in the first place. How? Balance your schedule and priorities so that you will not live in a constant state of frustration and exhaustion. Avoid spending time with angry people. Proverbs 22:24 is very clear, "Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man; do not associate with one easily angered." We really do become like the people with whom we spend the most time. Pray constantly, asking the Holy Spirit to help you cultivate the habits that encourage peace instead of anger. Memorize Scripture. The Word of God is a powerful weapon in dealing with and managing our emotions.

God created us with the capacity for emotions. That means He has a right plan and a right place for emotions in our lives. Anger management is a spiritual discipline that God honors, blesses and empowers. 

Let's Pray 
Father, thank You for creating me with the capacity to experience emotions. Sometimes I have a hard time controlling those emotions - especially my anger. Please help me learn how to express my emotions in a way that is healing to my relationships and pleasing to You.

In Jesus' name, 

Now It's Your Turn 
Review the eight beatitudes of anger management. Which one do you need to cultivate in your life?

Be ready.

Be kind.

Be understanding.

Be focused.

Be still.

Be quiet.

Be wise.

Be discerning.

Record these beatitudes in your journal.

Write out your prayer of commitment to cultivate attitudes and habits that will help you manage anger in your life.

More From The Girlfriends 
I know it is sometimes hard to control emotions. Anger can be especially difficult to manage. I believe we can learn to control our emotions through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our life. Consistent Bible study and prayer are powerful habits that will help us develop attitudes and discipline our emotions toward peace. 

Join women across the world in Bible Study by enrolling in my weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey.

Download my E-Book Bible Study, Anger Management 911 for more practical ways to deal with anger.  This study is perfect for individual or small group study.

Strength for the Storm is my new DVD of how to handle the storms in life. Check it out today! I would love to connect with you on Facebook! Let's talk!

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Originally published Wednesday, 24 March 2010.