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Filoiann Wiedenhoff
 You're here » Christian Columns Index » Filoiann Wiedenhoff » Dealing with Anger
Dealing with Anger
by Filoiann Wiedenhoff
June 6, 2009
Category: Christian Living
"IN YOUR ANGER do not sin" Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-28

The definition of anger is; an intense emotional state or feeling that is induced by displeasure.

Anger is an emotion that we are born with. There isn't anyone in the world that doesn't experience anger. Even new born babies when they are hungry get angry. So the idea of becoming angry is not wrong or a sin. It's how we handle our anger, where it stems from and where we take it, is what makes all the difference.

Even Jesus displayed anger when he chased the money changers out of the temple. His anger was called righteous indignation which means to have an anger that is righteous over unjust, mean or wickedness.

The unfortunate reality for us as people is that our anger is usually not righteous indignation but self displeasure. When this emotion becomes explosive, volatile, and abusive there is cause for alarm and to be concerned.

The bible also says to be angry but sin not. In other words we will become angry at times but if we explode, take it out on others, or hold it in or against another because of resentment or bitterness it turns into sin and the result is sinful and volatile behavior.

If you or anyone you know has an anger issue that includes the list above I highly recommend seeing a counselor, pastor or therapist and recommend you taking an anger management class. Explosive and volatile behavior not only affects you but others around you and can easily be turned into verbal or physical abuse if not dealt with.

I encourage you to talk to someone about your behavior because an anger problem usually stems from a deeper root of something else that needs to be identified and dealt with before it get's worse.

On a good note I want to encourage you that there is hope and if you are struggling with anger; I believe if you are willing to take the steps to address this head on, you have a good chance of being relieved, restored and healed. The key is to be willing to do whatever you need to do to rectify the problem.

When I give godly counsel my main objective is to always find out what is at the heart of the matter. What is at the root of it all and also to see the bigger picture of what is really going on.

I do this because many times people will come in and share with me their problems and the truth is their problems they are discussing with me are usually results or symptoms of a deeper issue and all they can see is the surface level of where they are at that moment.

That is why I highly recommend talking to someone who can give you godly and professional counsel to help you get down to the core of where the anger is stemming from.

Here are some helpful tools to get you started in the right direction when it comes to dealing with anger.

1. Pray: Pray for God to reveal the core issue and ask God to help you deal with the root issue and to pull the root out and bring healing. There is usually an un-dealt issue at the core of an anger issue and you need God's help to deal with that truth.

2. Measure your intensity: Measure how angry you are you getting. Is it bad, not so bad or explosive? This will help you gage your level of anger.

3. Measure your consistency: Take note of how often you get angry. Is it daily? Weekly? Monthly? Also can you recall when the intense anger began? Making note of time and perhaps month or year. Narrowing it down to a specific occasion or occurrence will usually lead you to the answer.

4. Identify your triggers: Take note of the occasion(s) you become angry looking at what sets you off. Evaluate if you get angry during certain situations. One thing or many things and are they related?

5. Find the root or cause: Once you have done the first four steps try to find the relation between them and narrow down what the root or cause might be. For example: One woman said her behavior changed around the month of November just six months prior. When she recalled what happened around that time, she realized that the month before her closest friend passed away. That unveiled to the both of us that she was grieving and she didn't realize it. Note: Anger is one of the stages in the grief process.

6. Examine your heart: Be willing to look at your heart and situation sober minded. In other words be realistic with yourself on why you are becoming angry or volatile. Be willing to face the facts and do what you need to do to restore your healing and alleviate whatever issue is at the root of it.

7. Address the Root Cause: Be willing to deal with the core root issue head on. If it is un-forgiveness, resentment, guilt, grief, trauma, whatever it might be, it's important to take the steps to deal with it head on, especially if you know what the cause of your anger and unhappiness is. Until you are willing to deal with the issue it will never change or go away and in fact will get worse.

8. Get Accountability: In dealing with any hard or difficult issue, accountability is always recommended. Having someone to talk to, pray for you and hold you accountable will help get you through the tough times and will keep you heading in the right direction. I recommend someone that is trustworthy; a friend, leader or pastor of godly character. Sometimes a spouse can only hold you accountable so much. It's better for an outside and objective person who is willing to tell you things especially when you don't want to hear it.

8. Seek out help: If the core root is too hard for you to handle on your own, it's important to seek out counsel. Either professional counseling or pastoral care counseling. You can then find out more information on anger management to help give you more direction and guidance on dealing with the issue and how to manage your anger practically.

9. Make Alternative Choices: As you are seeking counsel, be more conscience of your anger and make some decisions on how to respond to your trigger situations rather than react. For example if your trigger is someone being sarcastic with you, make a decision to walk away when it happens. Prepare yourself and think of alternative scenarios to deviate from a confrontation or blow up.

10. Take Action Steps: As you find out what the core issue is and you get godly counsel or professional counsel, continue to take the necessary steps to carry it out and follow through until the core or root is taken out and keep in mind that this process does not happen over night. Our flesh nature is also right there waiting to erupt at anytime. If you fall, don't condemn yourself, repent which means to change your mind and turn and go in the other direction which is God, get right back up and begin again.

Other sources of anger that I haven't mentioned could also be medications, illnesses, if you are menopausal or hormonal. Don't take my word for it, please see a doctor for their evaluation. There may not be one thing but several issues that may be playing a role in this and the most important tip here is to try to find out what it is.

If you think you might be dealing with un-forgiveness, bitterness, or disappointment you can also read those topics here, "Dealing with Un-forgiveness and Bitterness" and "Dealing with Disappointment" on my website. Take a look at the topics on my counseling page to see if there are any other topics that may help.

Always remember that you are not alone, God is right there to help you if you are willing to allow Him to do that. Allow God to heal you and restore you and allow Him to draw closer to you by spending quality time with Jesus.

Filoiann Wiedenhoff is a Pastor’s Wife, Work at Home Mom, Woman’s Biblical Counselor, Bible Teacher and Writer. You can subscribe to her monthly newsletter and visit her website.

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