5 Ways To Mismanage Anger

Introduction

We’ve been conditioned, in some ways, to believe that anger is bad, wrong, and generally not a good thing. No wonder, considering that anger is often behind many of the uglier things we see in this old world of ours. Anger seems to be the driving emotion behind a lot of destructive behaviors.

In reality, anger is a needful and beneficial human emotion. Anger enables us to defend ourselves and others. Anger motivates us to change ourselves and our environment. Anger can actually be very beneficial. But – it can also be very destructive. The key difference appears to be how we manage our anger.

Anger Defined

Anger is an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong. Anger can be a good thing. It can give you a way to express negative feelings, for example, or motivate you to find solutions to problems. (apa.org)
 
5 Ways We Mismanage Our Anger
 
  1. Stuffing Your Anger
By stuffing your anger, you can turn anger’s destructive nature inward, but it’s still just as destructive. Unresolved and unprocessed anger can cause physical ailments, substance abuse problems, and mental health problems. Many believe that depression is often anger turned inward. When “your top” finally blows, it’s like a dam breaking, and it all comes rushing out.
 
  1. Expressing Anger Inappropriately
When we think of anger problems, we often think of this type of anger. This is when we express our anger in destructive, abusive, or violent ways. This is done with words or actions. It is both manifested verbally and non-verbally. It is evidenced passively and aggressively.
 
  1. Experiencing Needless Anger
Believe it or not, most of the anger we experience just doesn’t need to happen at all. We bring a lot of anger on ourselves by the ways in which we think. Sometimes we place unrealistic – overly demanding – expectations on ourselves and others. When our expectations (or demands) are not met, we become angry. Sometimes we are overly critical.
 
  1. Escalating Our Anger
Much of our anger can be diffused, if we catch it early in the process, before it can build a full head of steam. The key, here, is to become aware of our anger, and process it in a healthy way, before it get’s out of hand, Most anger happens in the context of a relationship. When we become angry at someone else, we have a natural inclination to escalate that anger by trying to resolve a problem through an argument or fight. This usually just get’s us angrier. You’re much better off to cool down and try resolving the problem when you’re thinking clears up.
 
  1. Developing an Anger Addiction
Although anger feels bad to us, it also feels very good as well, Dopamine, adrenaline and cortisol are released into the body, and we experience a bit of a rush. We feel big and powerful. You can actually become addicted to this. If you are, you’ll begin to search for reasons to become angry, so that you can experience the intoxicating rush over and over again. Don’t get addicted to anger.
 
A Better Understanding Of Anger
 
  1. Anger Is Often Not Righteous. (Jas 1:20; Rom 12:17-21)
James 1:20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
 
  1. Anger Controls. Eph 4:26; Acts 17:16
Ephesians 4:26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry
 
  1. Anger Is Very Deceptive. Jer 17:9-10; Eph 4:25
Jeremiah 17:9 -10 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

Anger That Blames

  1. We typically try to justify our anger.
  2. We deny our anger or call it something else.
  3. We blame our anger on something outside of ourselves.
  4. We blame genetics (nature) or our upbringing (nurture).

Jesus’ Teaching On Anger – Mark 7:14-23

Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand. 15 It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.” 16, Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.

17 Then Jesus went into a house to get away from the crowd, and his disciples asked him what he meant by the parable he had just used. 18 “Don’t you understand either? ”he asked. “Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you? 

19 Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.)

20 And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. 

21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder,22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”


Anger’s True Identity 
 
1. Anger is usually murderous by natureMatt 5:21; 1 Sam 20:30-33; 1 John 3:15; Prov 11:9; Gen 4:6-7; Acts 7:54
 
2. Anger gives the devil an opportunity for worseEph 4:26-27; John 8:44; Jas 1:14-15

 

3. Those who give in to Anger are at risk of losing control. Prov 25:28; 29:8, 11; 14:17

 

4. Anger is destructive and leads to many other sins. Eph 4:31; 1 Sam 18:8-9; Luke 15:28-30; Col 3:19; Prov. 29:22, 14:17; Num 20:6-12; Ps 106:32-33

 

5. Anger is contagious. Prov 22:24-25; 15:1,18

 

What Causes Out-of-Control Anger?

  1. Scripture deals with most Anger as a sin issue. Matt 5:21-22; Jas 1:19-20; 4:1; Eph 4:26-27; Col 3:8; Prov 14:29; 15:18; 19:19; 22:24; 29:22; 2 Cor 7:10-11

 

  1. Scripture teaches that Anger begins in the heart. Mark 7:21; Matt 12:34

 

  1. We become Angry because we want something (too much). Jas 4:1-4; Isa 55:1-2
 

Ask Yourself What Do I Seek?

  1. What do I seek and treasure more than Jesus?
  2. A legitimate desire when it becomes a controlling desire (or demand) becomes a sinfully idolatrous desire.
  3. Angry people have false beliefs that they possess certain rights including the right to express their anger (judgment/revenge) when their rights are violated.
  4. Angry people often succeed in getting what they want by manipulating others.
  5. In the end angry people experience loss (including the loss of their “Idols”).

 

What Are Some Psychology Strategies People Use to Deal With Anger?

  1. Secular psychology promotes Anger Management – Expressing, Suppressing, Calming.
  2. Secular strategies try to keep anger at bay by Relaxation, Cognitive Restructuring, Problem Solving, Communication, Humor, Changing Environment, Counseling.

Although these methodologies are good and experienced with success. As Jesus explained they do not address the heart of Anger.

 

Dealing With Anger?

Proverbs 29:22 An angry person starts fights; a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.

  1. Venting. Prov 12:18; 29:11; 25:28; Eph 4:29,31; Jas 1:19; 4:11-12; Gal 5:15; Rom 12:19-21; 1 Pet 3:8-9; Num 20:6-12
  2. Displacement Matt 5:21-22
  3. Internalizing. Lev 19:17-18; 1 Kgs 21:4; Eph 4:31
  4. Excusing. Jas 1:13-15; 19-20; 1 Cor 10:13
 
5 Ways To Manage Anger
The key is what you are saying in your own heart. Phil 4:8-9; Prov 4:23; Mark 7:21-23
 
  1. I want something too much – Idolatry.  Jas 4:1-4; Isa 55:1-2; Rom 1:25
  2. I am not the Judge – God Is. Jas 1:19-20; 4:19-20; Gen 50:19; 1 Pet 2:23; Matt 7:1ff; 1 Cor 4:5; Rom 12:17-21
  3. God is very gracious to me – In Christ. Exod 34:6; Ps 103:8; Eph 4:31-32; Col 3:13; Matt 18:22-35; 1 Tim 1:15-16; Rom 5:10, 3:21-26; Prov 19:11; 1 Pet 4:8
  4. God is in control – He is doing good and will not give me more than I can bear. 1 Cor 10:13; Gen 50:21; Rom 8:28; Acts 2:23; Ps 103:19; Jas 1:2ff; 1 Pet 1:6-7; Prov 21:1
  5. Remember who I am – A new creation in Jesus Christ. Rom 6:11; 2 Cor 5:17; 1 Pet 4:1-6; 1 Cor 10:13; Gal 5:13-16, 19-23; Titus 3:3

 

Practical Ways To Calm Down

  1. God’s grace helps me to exercise self-control, patience and gentleness. 1 Cor 13:4-5; Jas 1:19; Titus 1:7; Prov 12:16; 14:29; 16:32; 19:11; 29:8, 11; 14:17; Col 3:19
  2. God’s grace enables me to speak with gentleness and grace. Prov 15:1; Eph 4:29
3. God’s grace enables me to lovingly do good to those who wronged me. Rom 12:20; Matt 5:43ff; Gen 50:21; 45:7-11; Luke 6:27-28; Eph 5:1-2
4. God’s grace enables me to receive correction, even from those who hurt me. Prov 9:8; 13:10; 2 Sam 16:5-13; Matt 7:1
5. God’s grace helps me to pursue the restoration of those who hurt me. Gal 6:1-2
  1. Their sin is primarily against God – it is not about me! Ps 51:4
  2. My objective is to restore not to vent or to judge. Matt 4:21
  3. If I am to help, I must be “spiritual” and gentle. Gal 5:13-23
  4. Don’t be quarrelsome. Prov 17:14; 29:3; 26:20; 1 Pet 3:7
  5. Deal with your anger and conflict quickly. Eph 4:26-27; Matt 5:23-24; 7:1
  6. Prepare for the temptation of anger. Prov 21:5
  7. Seek God’s help through prayer. Heb 4:16
 
-Lorenzo DellaForesta
 

Leave a Reply

^