Slow to Anger CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Today we are going to look at some of the factors in your life that contribute to your outbursts of anger or to that seething internal anger, if you are one of those who is able to control the outbursts. Solomon said that you are to be slow to anger. So, then you must take it SLOW, which is an acrostic for four things that you should not do in your life if you hope to be slow to anger. Don’t:
Stress – These days stress is not really something that you can control – just living is stressful – but it can be managed – you must make every effort to manage the stress in your life and to depend upon the grace of God to give you strength in every distress that you cannot manage [2 Cor 12:10]
Here are some things you can do to manage stress:
- Say “No” to requests that you simply don’t have time to perform
- “Pull the plug” in other words, disconnect and do something unrelated to your normal routine – “take some tension off your spring” from time to time; you can get too wound up
- Go to sleep earlier so that you get a full night’s rest
- Exercise moderately [like a brisk walk followed by a few stretches]
- Limit your caffeine intake
- When driving, depart earlier so that you can take your time; drive the speed limit or even 5 miles an hour under the speed limit
- Keep a manageable list of tasks and enjoy striking each thing off the list
- Break monumental tasks down into manageable pieces and realistic timeframes
- Get organized and de-clutter your life so that you don’t waste the time you have
Lust – At first you may not be able to see the relationship between lust and anger. But there are definitely some connections. People who give into the lust of the flesh are like spoiled children. Your flesh will be “pitching a fit” if it doesn’t get what it wants when it wants it and that often manifests itself in angry outbursts toward others.
Fueling you body with the wrong kind of food can really exacerbate anger. Sugar and refined carbohydrates are two of the worst culprits.
Allowing your mind and heart to dwell on lust can cause you to get down on yourself and then take this depressed feeling out on others.
And if your lust has something to do with expectations involving others and they don’t live up to or give in to your expectations, your discontentment will cause you to get mad at them.
Owe – The Bible says, “Owe no man any thing” – people who are in debt stay “jacked up” all the time. They can’t seem to get “the monkey off their back.” And so they are constantly angered by their financial obligations and limitations. Those in debt are more uptight than those who are debt-free. Trouble with finances remains one of the top reasons that so many marriages end in divorce. Before you measure your creditworthiness, you’d better consider your anger management. Your budget might be able to handle the debt better than your spirit can. What’s the use of killing yourself to obtain one more possession on credit?
Worry – Of these four things, worry is probably the least admitted underlying cause of anger. When you “blow up” and then recover, you can usually admit to “Oh man, I was just stressed out,” or “I had too much to do,” or “I drank too much coffee today,” or “I haven’t eaten in a while,” or “I am just overwhelmed with these bills,” or one of the other typical excuses we are accustomed to giving when we apologize.
But we rarely admit that the reason that we “lost it” is that we had been worrying about something. I suppose that we are too ashamed to admit that there was nothing bad going on; we simply “worked ourselves up” over a matter that ultimately won’t turn out to be as bad as we convinced ourselves it was going to be. The little committee in your head was working overtime and you believed everything these little “demons” exaggerated in your mind. You can’t go there. They will cause you to dread the future and you will retaliate by pouring out your wrath on someone else. If you would be honest with yourself and the person you turned against, you would have to say, “I was just afraid.”
Conclusion: It is one thing to know that we are to be slow to anger and it is another thing to know how to do it. This lesson offers you four practical things you can do to help control your anger. Now that you know these things, we will assure you that knowing what not to do is one thing and doing it is altogether something else. You must be faithful to be doers of the word and not hearers only!!