This post has stuff about religion and a previous relationship. My perspective has changed
Let’s face it, guys get angry. But you better watch it or you might get yourself shut in the slammer. Don’t believe me? Last year my wife went to jail for throwing a sippy cup. That’s it. I was being the absolute biggest jerk of all time and I called the cops. Needless to say, me and the missus have a little bit of history in this area, and not just on her part.
The fact is that we all have anger management problems and we need to learn to deal with them. Honestly, I’ve been trying to deal with my anger issues for more than a year now, and while I’ve made some progress I certainly don’t have a clean record. Today I hit the books in search of Truth to aid my War Against Terror within my own home. As usual Mr. Collins had plenty to say so he gets the credit for this adaptation of his work Christian Counseling.
The cause of anger
So what causes anger? This is the point that Collins made that really stuck out to me:
Anger is aroused when our progress toward some desired goal is blocked.
Take a second and think about something that caused you to be upset. Why did you get angry? For me, 9 times out of 10, it’s that I had a goal in mind that I wasn’t able to see through. Whether it’s resolving a conflict, being understood, or getting your way, that definition usually fits.
Is anger okay?
Often as Christians we’re told that anger is okay. I agree, but with hesitation. The problem with saying it’s okay is that we’re imperfect and it’s difficult to determine where the boundary is. But anyway, here’s a simple rule of thumb to help you decide:
Sinful anger is blowing up or internalizing. It’s destructive.
If you find yourself hurting yourself or hurting others around you, you’re probably not doing it right.
A**S: A four letter word that helps
I came up with a little acronym that would help me remember what to do when I get angry. It’s ACES . Here’s what it stands for:
dl. A is for admission:To deal with anger we’ve got to admit that we’re angry and that we have an anger issue. This is the classic first step for everything.
C is for consideration:You’ve got to evaluate your reasons for anger. You also need to evaluate potentially dangerous situations that could cause your anger to flare up.
E is for ethicality:The point here is to do what’s right in God’s eyes. Be humble, confess your sin, and forgive. This is a tough one.
S is for self-control:The name of the game here is to slow down. Avoid ruminating on angry things, and try and do things that build your self-esteem.
The toughest part here is the second step, consideration. It involves some analysis that I’ll cover in a future post. In the mean time, remember to “be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” —James 1:19
Photo from Gone With the Wind, via Michael Heilemann