Anger is typically not one of my outward emotions.. sometimes I don’t even recognize my anger. I mostly avoid displaying anger. That doesn’t make me any less angry than the one who rages, sabotages, or blames. I have learned to look closely at myself. If I increase food and decrease exercise; chances are something has me upset. Anger is stressful and dangerous if not identified and resolved. Whether righteous or unfounded, anger causes stress.
The following wise words help me understand anger.
Aristotle (384-322 BC) – Greek Philosopher – Anyone can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way – that is not easy.
Leo Buscaglia – Don’t hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love.
HW Longfellow – If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm any hostility.
Marcus Aurelius – How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it. Consider how much more you often suffer from your anger and grief, than from those very things for which you are angry and grieved.
Chinese Proverb – If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.
We can handle anger biblically by communicating to solve the problem. There are four basic rules of communication shared in Ephesians 4:15, 25-32:
1) Be honest and speak (Ephesians 4:15, 25). People cannot read our minds. We must speak the truth in love.
2) Stay current (Ephesians 4:26-27). We must not allow what is bothering us to build up until we lose control. It is important to deal with what is bothering us before it reaches critical mass.
3) Attack the problem, not the person (Ephesians 4:29, 31). Along this line, we must remember the importance of keeping the volume of our voices low (Proverbs 15:1).
4) Act, don’t react (Ephesians 4:31-32). Because of our fallen nature, our first impulse is often a sinful one (v. 31). The time spent in “counting to ten” should be used to reflect upon the godly way to respond (v. 32) and to remind ourselves how the energy anger provides should be used to solve problems and not create bigger ones.