I am a laid-back type of person. It takes a lot to get me angry. Being a writer, some of the things that get me angry are mostly the “there, their, they’re” conversation and the like. But I am like most people. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry because I always back up my rage with facts and well-documented sources. I’m the credible Hulk. Just a little writers humor. I wasn’t always that way.
Early in my life, I would let anger get the best of me. I would lash out and yell, say whatever mean thing popped into my head (true or not). It was so bad that when I was born, I was so angry; I didn’t talk to my parents for 14 months.
As we grow older, how we handle that anger is vital in dealing with our everyday relationships. My wife, my kids, my boss, my co-worker, the guy that cut me off in traffic. So many people make me angry. I’m not perfect, I still get angry, but I no longer let my anger control me. I know you didn’t ask, but I will tell you how anyway because I am the writer, and you are the reader, and I am in control right now (mwahaha, evil laugh).
The bible warns against uncontrolled anger. An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins (Proverbs 29:22). Now let’s get this clear. Getting angry is not a sin. Being angry is not a bad thing. Getting angry about the right things is very healthy. For example, you notice that the kids in your neighborhood don’t have a safe place to play and the park is torn down, and the wrong element is present. You get angry about it and decide to get some volunteers to remove the harmful pieces of the park.
You get a police presence to scare away the criminals who deal drugs. You get local businesses to donate money for a basketball goal and playground equipment. You plant a garden and put on block parties in that park. That is healthy anger that turns into something productive. But when you have uncontrolled anger, you take it to the extreme and sit at your computer and vent to anyone who will listen to your long posts on social media about how nothing is being done. Or you go and do a drive-by on the criminals at the park or something else crazy. That is when uncontrolled anger turns to sin.
But Mr. controlling writer, how do I manage that anger? My wife makes me so mad, and sometimes I say harmful things to her because I am hurt, and I want her to hurt as well. How do I control that part? I’m glad you asked. It takes lots of practice, primarily if you have been known to fly off the handle your entire life. You will mess up and fail in the beginning, but like anything in life, the more you do it, the better you get at it.
A good lesson to learn is, “It’s not what they call you, but what you answer to.” You don’t have to answer to every form of disrespect someone throws at you. If the insults they hurl at you are not who you are, don’t even worry about it. It all starts with being confident with who you are in Christ. Read self-affirming verses daily Genesis 1:27, 1 Peter 4:10, Psalms 18:29. Psalms 8:5. John 13:46, Colossians 2:10, Psalms 40:7, Philippians 2:5 (and no, I am not going to type what the verses say I want you to read them). When you know who and whose you are, little things don’t make you angry.
You have to condition your mind to block out the nonsense and let in the positive. The good news is once you get the hang of this, it is smooth sailing. The bad news is this is the hardest part. I am almost 40 years and have been working on this for years, and even though I am doing pretty good, I still have a long way to go. Practice doesn’t make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect. We won’t ever be perfect, but we can strive to be perfect. Remove yourself from a situation and calm down, then get back in and work on the conflict.
Keep doing it over and over, day after day, and it will become easier. Pray about it every day. Ask for strength and wisdom daily. God wants to help and will help you. I promise you that. He and I are tight, and he told me so. So remember. It is ok to be angry, don’t let uncontrolled anger destroy you and the people you love.
Prescott Williamson is a Bible-believing Christian. He is a husband, a father, and someone who believes that there is a little humor to be found in whatever situation God sends your way. He was born in the small islands of the Bahamas but now lives in the Suburbs of Fort Worth Texas, which is basically the same thing. He enjoys TV, reading, blogging and serving in his church (especially on the days they serve donuts). You can see what I have been thinking about lately on my blog www.prescottascoolbreeze.com.