Tag Archives: angry

Controlling Anger

One thing I’ve learned is that every sin lives within me, and I’m capable of committing any of them. The sins living within each one of us is just waiting for the right circumstances to show up and it will give us the opportunity to commit them. I learned this one night while I was very angry and bitterness was growing in me. The thought and desire to murder was so strong in me that it frightened me. I never believed I was capable of such a thing until that moment. Like Joseph in Potiphar’s house, I ran and didn’t look back.
Anger is a powerful emotion that can tempt us to do the unthinkable. It is a dangerous emotion that desires to control us. It is like a furnace burning within us that continuously heats up the more we feed it. It begins to consume our mind, our thoughts and eventually our lives. I was at the point that I couldn’t sleep. My anger was burning so strongly that every time I closed my eyes to sleep, all I could imagine was the situation that created my pain and my heart would begin to race. I began to be consumed with how I could get revenge. 

Let me be clear, anger in and of itself is not a sin. It is an emotion that God has given each one of us. I believe it becomes sin when it begins to control us. Psalms 4:4 says, “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent” (NLT). Too many times we have a knee jerk reaction of retaliation when we get angry. We scream, we curse, we throw things, we fight or do something else. The Psalmist here suggests that instead of reacting, we should proactively step away, remain silent and think about it. 

Many times in my life, my anger hasn’t frightened me away from sinning. Instead it has lead me right into it. As Christians, we need to understand that uncontrolled anger leads to sin. Instead of letting it have its way, we need to step away, think about it overnight and remain silent. In many cases, our anger will dissipate and we will be kept from sinning. It is possible to be angry and sin not as the scripture says. We just need to learn to be proactive with our anger instead of reacting with it. 


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Release Worry And Anger

Two the most taxing emotions are worry and anger. Worry robs us of our strength and anger blinds us. I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about things that may or may not happen. My mind is excellent at going through all the worst case scenarios. If there’s a possible bad outcome to any situation, my mind will think of it and make me worry. That stress then wears me down to the point that my mind and body get exhausted. It hinders me from accomplishing the things I need to get done today.

On the other hand, I’ve been so angry before that I couldn’t sleep. Every time I closed my eyes, I could only picture a bad scenario. That got me upset, got my heart racing and my blood boiling. It made me fantasize about doing evil things to pay them back that were worse than what they did to me. I didn’t want to get even, I wanted to get so far ahead that they never wanted to mess with me again.

These two emotions were given to us by God for a reason, but we can’t let them run wild and free or they will destroy us. Psalm 37:8 says, “Don’t give in to worry or anger; it only leads to trouble” (GNT). Notice how the writer didn’t say, “Don’t feel them.” No. He said, “Don’t give into them.” Don’t let them rule your mind. Left unbridled, they will destroy your well being and later your life. You can’t dwell on them. In both cases, you have to release them.

I know that’s easier said than done, but it is possible. In both situations, the way to release them is to trust God. Do you trust God to do what’s right for you? Then let go of worry and trust His plan. Do you believe that vengeance belongs to the Lord? Then let go of your anger and trust Him to do what’s right in the situation. If you’re struggling with either of these, pray and give the situation to God. When you release it, you will watch the worry and anger go with it. 

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Putting Out The Fire Of Anger

One of my favorite activities is camping, and one of the first things you have to know when camping is how to build a fire. Equally important is how to put out a fire. There are two ways to do that: quit putting logs on it or add water. By not putting logs on it, you let the fire burn to a slow death. Ive learned that even though there’s not a fire present, there are still embers below the ashes that can easily be ignited into a fire. To prove it, I like to go out in the morning, grab some small wood pieces, and start a fire with no matches. The “don’t feed the fire any logs” method isn’t the best way to put it out.

The best way is to apply water. Even though you add water and the flames die down, the same thing happens here as when you withhold logs. There are still embers beneath the surface that can be ignited. You must pour some water, stir the ashes, and pour more water until the fire is out. Putting out fires is a skill that we should learn. If you don’t do it right, you run the risk of starting a new fire and creating a lot of damage. Many of the most damaging forest fires were started by a small ember campers thought were put out.

The same way you put out a fire is the same way you help get rid of anger. You can choose to hide from the person who’s angry or you can calm the anger with words. Avoiding a person who is angry simply lets their anger boil under the surface. It can easily be reignited with the smallest things. All may look well on the surface, but underneath the ashes of the aftermath are embers waiting to be given fuel to grow. Yes, you may need to step away from the situation to allow both sides to cool down, but I don’t recommend this method for resolving situations.

Proverbs 15:1 gives us the real answer. It says, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare” (NLT). Your response to someone’s anger determines whether the situation escalates or is put out. Arguing back is like putting another log on the fire. Offering a gentle response is like adding water to a fire. You’ll have to keep your composure and continue offering soft answers until it is resolved. One answer won’t repair the situation immediately. It requires continued patience, understanding, and gentleness to help calm the anger in others. If you leave it unresolved, you may create a fire that gets out of control and causes irreparable damage. 


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Acting In Anger

I’m not someone who gets angry often. I’ve been angry many times in my life. At one point, I got so angry I couldn’t sleep. I allowed the anger to consume me. Every time I closed my eyes, I would visualize how I would exact my revenge. I wanted to lash out, hurt, and even destroy the other person. The anger boiled inside and pushed me to the edge of bitterness. I tried fighting back, but it was pointless. I tried to reason with myself, but I got nowhere. I ended up putting the TV on one of the Christian stations that played praise and worship all night while showing images of nature with scriptures superimposed on them.

When an opportunity arose for me to get revenge, I had to make a choice. Was I going to do something I’d regret for the rest of my life or get away from the situation? Before I could think too much, I got in my car and drove about an hour away. I got to the edge of town, pulled over on the shoulder, and weighed everything out for what seemed like forever. I ended up going to a friends house. I gave him my keys and said, “Whatever you do, don’t give me these back until at least tomorrow.”

Years later, I’m thankful God saved me from acting on my anger that night. Psalm 4:4 says, “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent” (NLT). Every time I read that, it reminds me that no matter how angry I get, I still have a choice in what I do with it. Being angry when bad things happen is a God given right and an emotion He gave us for those occasions. However, He didn’t give us the right to exact our revenge from that anger.

When we let anger control us, we act very selfishly. We might be deemed justified in our actions by people around us, but God is the only one whose judgement matters. Anger is best released by letting go of it, not by directing it at someone. When you hold onto it and allow it to consume your mind, you hand over the reigns of reason to a volatile emotion. God’s desire is that we let go of it so it doesn’t control us. Let Him take revenge for you. It may not come when or how you want it to, but if you let Him do it, you’ll have fewer regrets and a better life. I’m proof of that.

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Mercy And Restoration

Every time I read about King David in the Bible, I come away with a deeper respect for him. In II Samuel, life was going good for David. He was king and had just brought his son, Absalom, home to set aside their differences. Instead of being grateful, Absalom stole the hearts of Israel, betrayed his father and took the kingdom away from him. David had to flee his beloved Jerusalem to keep from being killed. As he was taking one last look from the summit of the Mount of Olives, he was met by the servant of Mephibosheth.

Mephibosheth was Jonathon’s son and King Saul’s grandson. David had taken him in and let him eat from his table. When David asked the servant where he was, the servant said, “He stayed behind to reclaim his grandfather’s kingdom.” I’m sure that hurt David after all he had done for him. David said, “In that case, you get everything he owns.” As David turned to continue on his exile, another man related to Saul started yelling curses at David and throwing rocks at him. He yelled out, “Get out of here you murderer, you scoundrel! The Lord is paying you back. You stole his (Saul’s) throne.”

One of David’s men grabbed his sword and asked permission to cut off his head. David screamed, “No! Who asked your opinion?” He then told them that his own son is trying to kill him. Why shouldn’t a member of Saul’s family have even more reason to? Instead of killing the man who was taunting him, throwing rocks at him and made him weary, he let him be. He showed mercy. He showed great restraint in dealing with everything that was going wrong.

We each have people in our life who have betrayed us. We have people who use words like daggers and stab us in the back. We have people who get under our skin and wear us out. It’s nothing new. It’s been happening for millennia. David showed us a different way to handle them. He showed us that there is another option. In II Samuel 16:12, David said, “Perhaps The Lord will see that I’m being wronged and will bless me.” He knew that if he lashed out in anger, he removed the chance of blessing. He wanted to leave the door open for God to help him.

How do you respond to the people who won’t leave you alone? Do you fight back? Do you get into endless arguments? Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.” It could be that your response is keeping you in that perpetual cycle. If you want to change the circumstance, change your response to it. Show mercy instead of anger. Have patience instead of lashing out. Open the door for God to bless you instead of slamming it shut. Show love instead of hate. Give back blessings instead of curses and watch what God does. It may take a while, but God will restore you like he did David.

By the way, David did get his kingdom back. It turned out Mephibosheth’s servant was lying. David took half of the belongings back and gave them to Mephibosheth. He then let him continue to live in the palace. The man who cursed him, apologized and was forgiven. All of this was done because David did not sin when he was losing everything. Keep your head up. God sees what you’re going through. He sees the attacks and has not forgotten you. He will restore you.


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When you travel as much as I do, you’re bound to have days like I had yesterday. I left Mobile, AL early to get to New Orleans, LA for a noon flight. When it was time to board the plane, they said there was a short delay. Twenty minutes later, the incoming flight landed and deplaned. As soon as the announcer said we had to wait due to weather, the pilot walked up and said to let us board. Once we were on board, plans changed. The weather got bad again in Atlanta, GA where we were heading. We had a 45 minute delay on the plane now.

When the 45 minute delay was up, they came on and said it would be longer. People, like me, started to wonder about our connecting flights. The flight attendant got on the intercom and addressed our concerns. Not only were flights not being let into Atlanta, flights weren’t being let out either. So most of us should make our connections. When we finally got to Atlanta, the airport was crazy. Crowds of people were packed around each gate. People were frantically running. People were on their phones explaining to others what was happening. Above all, they were upset.

Aside from getting to my intended destination several hours later than I planned, there were no real hiccups. It looked like most of us were in the same boat. We were going to get to our destination, just not at the time we had hoped for or anticipated. I’ve learned (am learning!) not to get worked up when things don’t happen according to my time table. God is in control and this is a reminder of that.

If God had intended for me to get to my destination at the time I had planned and prepared for, He would have made a way. Who knows what all is going on behind the scenes that I can’t see? God could cause a delay to make sure I crossed paths with someone, open a door of communication to share His love with someone that wouldn’t have been there otherwise or to save a life from a disaster that could have occurred. The truth is, we may never know why we are delayed by traffic, weather or whatever so there’s no sense in getting upset and angry over something out of our control.

Delays aren’t a surprise to God. He knew when I got up yesterday what time I would arrive at my destination. The delay was built into His plan for my life. Getting upset and angry over it could put me on the opposite side of the argument from God. That’s not where I want to be. I’m sure that’s not where you want to be either. Learning to trust God through delays is something we all have room to improve on. Trusting Him when His answers are delayed takes even more faith.

How do you respond when you are delayed? Is there room for improvement? How do you react when the “deadline” passes and God hasn’t answered yet? Do you feel angry? Disappointed? Hurt? We may not understand now why we are delayed or why God delays in answering us, but we can trust in the fact that He is in control and we are not. He knows what is best for us even when we can’t see it. Trust Him through your delays and watch your faith grow. You’ll be a happier person because of it.


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Go Ahead & Be Angry

I had a conversation last night with a friend who is going through a difficult situation. They tried to give me all the religious answers they thought I wanted to hear. I finally stopped them. I said, “I don’t want to hear what you think I want to hear. I know what you’re going through. It’s ok to be angry right now.” Silence. “You’re right. I am angry right now,” the voice on the other end finally said.

I directed them to the scripture in Ephesians 4:26 that says, “Go ahead and be angry. You to well to be angry – but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge.” It’s not a sin to be angry and upset. It’s ok especially when you have a right to be upset. God just doesn’t want us to use that anger against the person who wronged us. I shared with them how angry I was and the things I had wanted to do.

Thank God I never acted on the thoughts that entered my mind while I was hurt and angry. If I had acted on them, I would have missed out on the blessings I now enjoy. When you’re going through a difficult time where you’ve lost everything, you think you have nothing to lose because you don’t have anything. That’s a dangerous place to be.

It’s important to pay attention to the thoughts that enter your mind when you’re upset. It’s easy to entertain them. It’s easy to slip off into a fantasy world where you are deceived into believing you can get away with anything. The enemy sends thoughts into your head in a Trojan Horse. They start off harmless and end up with you really contemplating going through with them.

Scripture is clear when it comes to thoughts like that. II Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “We use God’s mighty weapons , not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning… We capture rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” When we entertain those thoughts that would take us from being angry to sinning, we allow them to take root in our minds and to build strongholds. We are to take those thoughts instead and teach them to obey Christ.

I know that’s easier said than done. It’s easy to entertain the thoughts that let you do what your flesh wants to do. It takes God’s weapons to break them down and teach them to obey Christ. It takes discipline. Usually you are missing those things when you’re hurt and angry. I want to encourage you today if you are hurt, angry or discouraged to know it’s ok to feel that way.

Emotions are given to us by God. He knows we need to vent at times. He knows we want to curl up in bed, pull the covers over our heads and pretend that today doesn’t exist. That’s why he said, “Go ahead and be angry.” He just doesn’t want you to do something stupid with that anger that would stint the future He has for you. Don’t limit what He can do through you because you are hurt and feel you have nothing to lose. This too will pass. You will survive. I’m proof of it. It just takes time. God still has a future for you even when you can’t see it.


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