With so much anger and violence in our world, it is good to understand the
dynamics of anger and plan ahead how to control anger instead of allowing
anger to control us. Anger is an emotion that we all will experience at some
time or another. It is also a feeling that we will all express in one form or
another at some time in our life. Anger is a healthy and natural human
emotion when handled correctly. Anger can be expressed in a healthy way
or in a destructive way. Constructive expressions of anger affirm and
acknowledge one's integrity and boundaries without intention to threaten
another person. Destructive expression of anger defensively projects and
rigidity fortifies one's vulnerability, identity and boundaries. How to handle
anger should be stratified and orchestrated the way we plan for a fire drill. It
is a proven fact that what we practice is what will happen hi moments of
crisis. The choice of how to respond to anger is ours. My mother often told
us that you cannot control what people do to you but you can control how
you respond to it.
Dahlen and Deffenbacher, 2001 identify three main ingredients that
stimulate anger (1) The stimulus of an external source, such as what
another person does to you); the effect of this stimulus is influenced by
one's existing emotional state as in what else is going on in one's life at the
time the outside stimulus occurs. (2) There is the pre-anger state, which
includes one's cognitive, cultural understanding about anger and ways of
expressing anger. (3) There is one's assessment of the anger-eliciting
stimulus and one's ability to cope with the stimulus. All three of these
ingredients interact to create a state of being angry. Dahlen and
Deffenbacher also identifies four related domains in which anger exists. (1)
In the emotional and experiential domain, anger is an emotion ranging in
intensity from mild annoyance to rage and fury. (2) In the psychological
domain, anger is associated with adrenal release, increased muscle
tension, and activation of the sympathetic nervous system. (3) In the
cognitive domain' anger is associated with biased or preconceived
information processing as in "he is only doing that to upset me". (4) In the
behavior domain, anger can be either functional as in being asse11ive and
setting limits or dysfunctional as in being overly aggressive, withdrawing or
promotion of unhealthy habits as the use of drugs or alcohol. The
expression of anger can take many forms. Some common means of
expressing anger include; venting, resisting, seeking revenge, verbally
expressing dislike, avoiding the source of the anger and seeking help.
However in our society we are taught that expressing anger is not
Acceptable. As a result many of us are never taught how to manage our
own or other's expressed anger effectively.
GOD'S SOLUTION FOR HANDLING ANGER
God knew in his infinite wisdom that at some times we would be angry. That
is why Ephesians. 4:26 tells us to be angry and do not sin. We should not let
the sun go down on our wrath. Because we are angry does not give us the
right to be violent nor to say anything that comes into our mind. We must
always remember that words have the power of life and death. We must
always speak life to others. Ephesians 4:29 says, Let no corrupt
communication proceed out of your mouth but speak what is good for
necessary edification that it may impart grace to the hearers. Even when we
are angry we should only speak life giving and positive words to others.
When we become born again Christians we become a new creature in
Christ. And because we are new creatures, Col. 3:8 tens us because you
are now crucified together 'with Christ you are to put all these anger, wrath,
malice, blasphemy and filthy language out of your mouth. If profanity comes
out of your mouth when you are angry it only means that that is what is in
you. 2Tim. 2:] 6 tells up to shun profane and idle babblings for they will
increase to more ungodliness.
We have to always remember that we don't always know what baggage the
other person is carrying so we should always try to remember to give them
the benefit of the doubt and extend kindness and consideration to them.
Maybe the person who cut you off on the freeway was on his way to the
hospital to see his mother before she died. Eph. 4:31-32 tells us Let all
bitterness, wrath, anger and strife be put away from you and be kind to one
another; tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God in Christ forgave
.you. Proverbs. 19: 11 a discrete man is Slow to anger and his glory is to
overlook a transgression.
The person on the other end of the phone who treated you disrespectfully
may be having the worst day of their life. They may have a child dying in the
hospital; they may be hiding in their fear of an abuser or may be losing their
home to foreclosure or any other of life's catastrophes. God also tells us that
we must have a real reason to get angry with our brother. Matt. 5: 22 tells us
that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of
the judgment and whoever verbally berates his brother shall be in danger of
the council and whoever shall say to his brother "you fool" shall be in danger
of hell fire.
We who are in leadership are required by God to be more tolerant of
others. Titus 1:7 God describes the character the earthly leader of his
flock; A bishop must be blameless, a good steward of God, not self-willed,
not quick to anger, not given to wine, not violent and not greedy for money.
Eccl 7:9 do not hasten in your spirit to be angry for anger rests in the
bosom of fools.
We must practice talking to others in a calm tone of voice. We must
never allow the excited angry state of another person to dictate how we
respond because Proverbs tells us that a soft answer turns away wrath
but harsh 'words stirs up anger.
Proverbs 16:32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty and he -
who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. We must always remember
that we are ambassadors for Christ. We can demonstrate our love for
Christ in the way we interact with others. Acts 1:8 tell us that we shall
receive power after the Holy Ghost comes to live within us. The Holy Ghost
gives us the power to do good to those who spitefully use us and to love
those who do evil to us. If we can remember that everything that comes
into our life is working for our good according to Rom. 8: 28 we will find it
easier to not get angry with people who do things that make us angry.
W e should do our best to avoid the company of angry people because
Proverbs 22:24 tell us take no friendship with an angry man and do not go
1,vith a furious man. Because Proverbs 29:22 tell us that an angry man
stirs up strife and a furious man commits many transgressions.
PRACTICAL SKILLS FOR HANDLING ANGER
1. Learn to "self talk" when angry. Talk to your self. As in "I'm not going to
let this get to me. Or I am not going to respond to this.
2. Remind you of the pros and cons of staying angry or letting the
anger go away.
3. Learn to recognize the kind of thoughts that crank up your anger and
practice replacing those kinds of thoughts with calming, soothing
thoughts. 4. Avoid thoughts that label people things or situations in
extreme terms because they just make one angrier.
5. Avoid profanity and swearwords they only increase your anger.
6. A void jumping to conclusions without checking out the facts first. Your
conclusion may be incorrect and will only crank your anger up.