Pastor Tim Ayers
I was once a very angry man. I was like a spoiled child. I wanted my way and got angry whenever I couldn’t have it. Not just at people, a wife or children but at objects. I always thought I could figure out how to do just about anything. Now I know, I am not mechanically inclined, my fingers do not work nimbly and I am often distracted by little things. My anger left holes in walls, broken pieces and damaged lives.
Anger is a major problem in families. Dr. Charles Sell, a family ministries specialist, said it is one of the most destructive forces in our lives. The Bible tells us in Colossians 3:8, “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these..” then it lists anger as the number one thing.
Don’t get me wrong. Anger is not always wrong; it’s a legitimate emotion. The Apostle Paul said, “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Anger can warn us when to protect ourselves and our families. It is part of being a human. But, and this is a big but, when wrongly expressed, anger can cause all sorts of harm. Proverbs 27:4 says, “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming.” From experience, I know that is true. I used to blame others or stupid objects for making me angry. Nothing could be further from the truth. I wanted to control everything and if something got in the way, it got my overwhelming fury.
How do you deal with it? Today, submit your anger to God. Have him show you the trigger points for your anger. Mine was control. Guess what? I don’t control much. I certainly don’t control how other people think or what they do. I had to relinquish my control over areas I couldn’t control.
Next practice controlling what you can control--your thoughts. I used to get road rage. People do stupid things when they are driving. I can’t control their cars or their actions. I now try to understand their reasoning. I put myself in their place. When did I ride someone’s bumper? When did I pass unsafely? I had a good reason for doing bad things. The thought process always calms me down. I sometimes find myself praying that the other driver gets to the destination safely and doesn’t harm another motorist.
Since there isn’t a short supply of short tempers, I work overtime to keep myself in check. Guess what? It is working.