How to Deal with Persistent Anger: 4 Steps
How to Deal with Persistent Anger: 4 Steps
Jennifer Waddle iBelieve Contributor
Did you know that some people actually see the color red when they are angry? There is a physiological reason behind it that involves blood rushing to the frontal lobe of the brain in an attempt to calm things down. I guess that’s one good reason we’re told to count to ten before reacting—it gives our brains time to defuse our emotions.
What a wonderful Creator we have! He designed us to express emotions like joy, sadness, and even anger. But when does anger become a habitual sin in our lives?
In my early twenties, I was a busy mom of two little guys, and often overcommitted at church. My husband was in the military, and was gone a lot, so I was mostly handling things alone. Needless to say, my stress levels were sky-high.
One morning, as I was in a hurry to leave, I overheard my little boy playing with his action figures. He was having them say to each other, “She’s mean. She’s mad. My mom is mean and mad.”
Talk about honesty coming from the mouths of babes! I was heart-broken. My persistent anger had gotten the best of me and it was affecting my precious children. I was convicted to the core.
That day was a turning point for me. My tendency toward anger didn’t suddenly vanish, but I was acutely aware of it and desperately wanted to change.
In dealing with my own anger issues, I've learned these 4 steps are crucial for turning away from this sin once and for all:
1. Change Your Perspective
Deep down, I knew my reactive anger wasn’t good, but I had ignored the signs that my behavior was affecting my family.
Allow yourself to imagine being on the receiving end of your anger. How would it make you feel? If you were a child would you be confused? If you were a friend, would you want to continue in that friendship? If you were a spouse, would you feel like you were walking on egg shells?
As God to help you see things first from His perspective and then from the perspective of those you love.
2. Speak Up
Often, when we harbor resentment, we aren’t communicating well. We let things build up and become much bigger issues than they need to be.
For me, I was angry because I didn’t have the help I needed. But instead of asking for it, I would stew about it, letting my anger reach the boiling point.
Eventually, I learned to speak up—in truth and in love. I learned to share what was really bothering me. And I learned to ask for the things I needed. What a difference it made!
As I mentioned before, some of my persistent anger came from overcommitment. I was too busy to slow down and enjoy life. I had too many irons in the fire and therefore, I was constantly frustrated.
Slow down and reprioritize your life! Making even small changes to your schedule can be exactly what is needed to defuse anger.
I’ve written about this in depth, in my eBook Prioritize Your Life and Get All Your Ducks in a Row.Believe me, a huge weight will be lifted when you reprioritize, which will lead to a calmer, happier you.
4. Learn about God’s View of Anger
When I spent some time in the Word referencing passages about anger, I read things like:
“In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:26-27)
“Our anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:20)
“Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” (Proverbs 29:11)
It was really good to allow God to shed light on what was sinful and what wasn’t. Because anger had become such a bad habit, I no longer knew what was justified.
Seek the Lord and learn how He views anger. You will be amazed at the changes He makes in your heart, breaking that bad habit once and for all.
Sisters, we will get angry; there’s no doubt about it. But persistent anger that goes unchecked—the “mean and mad” kind—needs our immediate attention. If you are seeing “red” way too often, or counting to ten more than you’d like, be encouraged today. At least you haven’t heard Batman telling Spiderman that you are a mean and mad mom!
If you would like more Biblical encouragement about the issue of anger and other issues we face, you can find it in my book, Scarves of White: Replacing Our Issues with the Covering of Christ. It’s a 7-week study that is perfect for personal or group use.
Jennifer Waddle is best known for words of encouragement as an Author, Speaker and Musician for Women’s Ministry. She currently has three published books on Amazon and is a regular contributor for WomensMinistryTools.com and GotQuestions.org. Jennifer is committed to sharing authentic messages of hope to women of all walks of life. She loves being a wife of 24 years, mom of four, and nana of two. Most of all, she cherishes her time spent in the Word of God, with a cup of coffee and a beautiful view of the Rocky Mountains. Contact Jennifer here: www.jenniferwaddleonline.com or email@example.com.