- Think of a time when you felt angry….. What brought it on? What caused you to get angry?
- How would you define anger? What other emotions do you associate with it? Think of some feelings or thoughts that run through your mind while in the heat of the moment.
- Helpful resource: http://feelingswheel.com/
- What does your anger look like? Do you have certain tendencies when you experience anger? Do you get quiet, lash out, etc.?
- Is your anger built on things you want or things you need in your life?
- What has your anger “killed” in your life? Is your anger currently killing something in your life?
- If you find your anger is killing something in your life, is it because of past anger you’re hanging on to, that you need to let go?
- What else may be happening inside of you that comes out as anger?
- Mary mentions using tools such as:
- Pause and take a deep breath
- Think of the gracious assumptions, or perspectives that are outside of yourself that may be forgotten in the situation
- Think on if there are any hard conversations you may need to have to resolve your anger
- Release the anger by going for a walk, journal, or having a healthy hobby
Of the tools Mary mentions, what is one that you can implement in your life starting today to help you manage your anger?
What is the hardest part about getting over or around times of anger?
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. -Ephesians 4:26-27
Anger can take our positive thoughts and feelings and turn them into tools for the enemy. It’s easy to react instead of respond. Reacting might mean going straight to anger, letting that anger control you without thinking about it. A reaction is typically quick, tense, and more aggressive.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. -James 1:19-20
Responding could look like what James explains in this verse: being quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. A response takes more time, is non-threatening, and calm. When we’re slow to anger, we have more time to process the feelings and emotions associated with it, leaving space to respond in ways that bring peace, healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. -Philippians 4:8
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. -Colossians 3:2
Scripture is a great tool to help us respond in peace when we’re combatting the anger we feel. In Philippians 4:8, Paul invites us to fix our minds and our thoughts on what is excellent and worthy of praise. Sometimes this means actively choosing to set our minds on things that are true, honorable, and pure, instead of letting anger immediately control our thoughts. Similarly in Colossians, we are told to think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
Make The Change
- How can you more easily recognize the next time you are becoming angry?
- What will you do to respond instead of react?