I just finished a challenging, but insightful book called:
Keeping Your Cool ... When Your ANGER is HOT
by June Hunt
Ouch! This one burned! The Lord has taught me a lot through reading this book and I definitely recommend it! I think we all struggle with anger, it just looks different in the way we express it.
This is how Hunt describes anger. She says, "Anger is a strong emotion of irritation, agitation, or hostility that occurs when a need or expectation is not met. Actually, anger is a secondary response to something else--it's an upsetting emotional reaction to an assumed "right that ahas been violated or not fulfilled."
She describes the different types of anger, and how anger can be used in a very destructive way, but also in a positive way. Positive? Anger can teach us to address our past, address the present, address our relationships, and address our spiritual life. It is a real emotion, that the Lord gave us, that cannot be ignored. Hunt reminds us that "The Bible never says anger, in and of itself, is bad. Anger is not a sin. What we do with our anger determines if it becomes a sin." But, there are many scriptures that warn us about anger because it is such a strong emotion, and it is easy to let it get out of control.
"Be angry, and do not sin."
Here are a couple of my take-aways:
Determining the source of my anger: frustration. I have expectations that life should be a certain way. People should act a certain way: others should treat me kindly, act with common courtesy, my boss should affirm me for my hard work, my coworkers should do their fair share of the work, people should follow the "rules," my husband should do his share of the chores, the list could go on and on. Basically, I have an expectation of how things "should be." I believe this corresponds with my issues of control. I have no control over how other people choose to act ... and it drives me CRAZY!! The conclusion here is that, I have to turn over these circumstances to the Lord ... he is in control of each circumstance and has a perfect plan. If I don't give him the reigns, my anger is going to continue to burn!
How I deal with anger: I am a "Fire-Eater." First, I am a "Stuffer." I have trouble communicating my feelings and emotions effectively. Why? Because I am afraid of how this will be received. I am afraid of a big fight. I am afraid of being hurt. But, I can only hold it in for so long ... then, I explode!! And, believe me, it's not pretty!! I have said some pretty nasty things! I am learning how to express my feelings in a healthy way. Stuffing my feelings only builds up feelings of bitterness and resentment, especially toward my husband. Second, I am also a "self-blamer" ... thinking that everything that happens to me is my fault. I consider myself worthless, unloveable, and never good enough. I make myself the victim. In the past, I used to say I hated myself. I have worked through some of these emotions, but it still rears its ugly head. Usually this happens during an argument or confrontation, when I hear negative things about myself or if someone tells me that I am wrong (I hate that). I already tend to put so much pressure on myself, that it is twofold when it comes from someone else. I am having to learn to put my defenses down during these times.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
These are just two things that I learned from this book. Believe me, I could go on and on! Remember that if you want to change the way you deal with anger, it is possible!! You don't have to stay the same! The Lord is here to help you heal and conform your heart to be more like His!
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.