Today I am reading day 149 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Bad Temper is Contagious
Proverbs 22:24-25 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.
Is anger contagious? Yes. Can you be infected by somebody else’s anger? Certainly. Ever been in a situation where they get loud and you do too? What’s happening? There’s a transfer of energy. It’s contagious.
If you are serious about changing an imbedded, habitual lifestyle of inappropriate anger management, then you need to start hanging out with other people who know how to manage their anger. That’s one of the benefits of a church. That’s why I believe in joining a church family and getting involved in a small group. You pick up positive values.
The methods we use to express our anger are learned. Since they’re learned, they can be unlearned. Parents, every time I blow up and lose my cool, I’m modeling inappropriate anger to my kids. They’re learning and you’re teaching.
Would you pray — “Dear God, I resolve to manage my anger. Today, with your help, I’m going to take control of my temper. I’ve fallen in the past, but today I make a new commitment. Help me to realize the cost of my anger, that it causes arguments, mistakes and causes me to do foolish things and get into all kinds of trouble.”
“Father, help me to reflect before reacting, to have wisdom and ask myself, `Why am I angry? What do I really want? How can I get it?’ Help me to see the causes beneath my anger. Help me to release my anger appropriately, no longer expressing it through violence, shouting, pouting or just being quiet and holding it in as a grudge. Help me to admit it, confess it to you, myself and others. Amen.”
Today I am reading day 148 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Anger: Repattern Your Mind
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The way we act is determined by the way we feel. The way we feel is determined by the way we think. If we want to change the way we act, we’ve got to change the way we think. If we want to change a habitual pattern of improper anger management — pouting, blowing up, criticizing, etc. — then we need to have some mental reconditioning.
Gary Smalley suggests you begin asking yourself questions like, “Do I enjoy getting angry?” “Does it produce the intended results when I get angry?” “Could I get the same results in a more effective way?” “How would I be different?”
Smalley suggests you write it down and read it aloud to yourself once a week for six months, that’s 26 times. Take the time to read it in the presence of another person. That may seem like a lot of work, but how serious are you about changing this habit in your life? How serious are you about getting control of your anger?
I’d suggest using Bible verses in your letter, so that, as God’s Word fills your thoughts, you’re transformed by the renewing of your mind. It’s going to change you.
The truth is, angry people are insecure people. The more insecure I am, the more things tick me off. The more insecure I am, the more upset I get and the more irritable I am.
But here’s the thing — When you understand how much God loves you and you understand your security in Christ, when you understand how much you matter to God, then you are less likely to be irritable. (Read Ephesians 1 and Romans 8.)
Today I am reading day 147 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Release Anger Appropriately
Ephesians 4:26 “In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
There are helpful ways and harmful ways to release your anger. For instance, sometimes we’d rather remain angry than admit to our anger. Yet, the Bible says that to be angry and not admit that you are angry is lying. And that’s a sin.
Keep in mind: anger is not necessarily wrong. It only becomes wrong if we release it in a way that is inappropriate or destructive. My experience as a pastor is that most of us learned to express our anger when we were two- or three-years-old, and we’re still expressing our anger in the same way as adults. Needless to say, this simply doesn’t work.
Most people express their anger in such a way that they end up farther away from their goal than they were before they became angry. Anger, expressed inappropriately, has the opposite effect of producing the intended results. Blowing up at people never produces lasting change; it only produces more anger and alienation. We know that but we still do it. It doesn’t produce lasting change.
Something to keep in mind is that anger is never really the root problem. It is usually a symptom that reveals one of three things is happening: hurt, fear, or frustration. These are the three things that make us angry, and this is why we should always stop and cool down. It allows us to think –
Am I hurt? Am I afraid? Perhaps feeling threatened, or that I’m going to lose something of value? Or, am I frustrated?
Understanding the source of your anger will help you respond in an appropriate manner, so that your anger does not “lead you into sin.” (Ephesians 4:26 TEV)
Today I am reading day 145 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
The Cost of Your Anger
Proverbs 11:29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.
The Bible says there is always a price tag to uncontrolled anger. Can you relate to any of these verses?
Proverbs 15:18: “Hot tempers cause arguments, but patience brings peace.” (TEV)
Proverbs 29:22: “People with quick tempers cause a lot of quarreling and trouble.” (TEV)
Proverbs 14:17: “People with a hot temper do foolish things; wiser people remain calm.” (TEV)
The Bible says, “The fool who provokes his family to anger and resentment will finally have nothing worthwhile left. He shall be the servant of a wiser man.” (Proverbs 11:29 TLB)
Whenever I lose my temper, I lose. You don’t make it to the top if you’re continually blowing your top. The word “danger’ is the word “anger’ with the letter “d’ in front. And anger is dangerous. You could lose everything: your reputation, your spouse, your job, your health.
A few years ago, I read about medical research on the human heart that revealed, if you reduce the hostility in your life, you can prolong your life. Mom and Dad, listen, we may get a short-term pay-off by motivating our kids through anger — they will comply out of fear — but in the long run, we’ll lose because anger always alienates. It turns people off rather than turning them on. And, instead of getting what you want, it causes people to become apathetic to your needs and angry at you.
One way to manage your anger is to come to grips with how much it is costing you.
Today I am reading day 144 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Resolve to Manage Your Anger
1 Corinthians 13:5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
The Bible says, “Love is not easily angered.” It doesn’t say love never gets angry at all. In fact, sometimes the loving thing to do is to get angry. Jesus became angry in the Temple when he saw his Father’s house being run like a marketplace.
At the same time, we can love someone and still get angry at that person. Sometimes the anger may be “righteous’ and sometimes it may be “selfish,’ but the people we love the most are the ones most likely to make us angry.
My point is — God placed the capacity to get angry into your biological makeup. Being angry is not a sin; it can become a sin if we allow it to push us into destructive behavior, but the emotion itself is not a sin. The Bible says even God gets angry.
You can’t avoid anger, but you can learn how to control it. You can resolve to manage it, so it becomes an asset, rather than a liability. This means you quit making excuses and justifying your anger: “That’s just me. I just blow up. I can’t control it.’
Anger can be controlled. Have you ever been in a fight with someone and things are getting pretty loud, but, then, the telephone rings? Notice how quickly you can manage your anger! You’ve got a lot more control over your anger than you think you do. Resolve to manage it, and, then, confess, “I can control it with God’s help.”