Monday, 29 October 2012

Are You Angry? Part II

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 5 1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 4:29-5:2
 
Dave Powlison, nationally known author, counselor and lecturer, understands that stuffing one’s emotions is not the answer, nor is dumping your anger on a person for a perceived wrong.  He is also aware that relaxation techniques and medication can be beneficial to some but none of these approaches deals with the heart.   The real key to dealing with one’s anger is to follow the Biblical model provided by the Apostle Paul.  First in Ephesians 4:29-5:2 Paul lays out what we should and should not do with our anger, summarized as Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Powlison then recommends five questions that we should ask ourselves when we are feeling angry.

1.     What is happening around me when I get angry? What pushes your buttons? Think of specific times when you become angry. Make a list of the last five times you got angry, or keep track of the next five times.

2.     How Do I act when I get angry? Look at your list and write down what you do when your anger goes wrong

3.     What were my expectations (what did I want, need, demand) when I became angry? Examining your motives brings God into the discussion, because it reveals what hijacked God’s place in your heart

4.     What message does God have for me, in His word that will speak to my anger? When we remember that this is God’s kingdom and not ours, the way we deal with our anger will be hugely affected. When we add to that an understanding of our real sins, then we will also see how God, in Christ, is tender-hearted and forgiving to us. Our anger will be transformed.

5.     What am I called to do? Our relationship with God will always lead us to our relationship with people. 

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