Anger is one of the most basic of human emotions and has the potential for destroying lives. Tim Jackson, author of “When Anger Burns” writes, that anger is a hostile emotion that sets people against each other, or even against themselves. By its nature, anger involves antagonism. From a Christian perspective, Tim Jackson suggests the following to effectively deal with destructive anger.
Acknowledge Your Anger To God, don’t pretend that you don’t get angry. Call it what it is. Be honest with yourself, and then with God. He knows anyway. Pour out your heart to Him and tell Him what you are feeling.
2. Learn To Get Angry Slowly. Angry words spoken quickly are usually regretted later. Take time to be sure that you have good reason to be angry. Learn to avoid jumping to unwarranted conclusions. Listen and ask questions. Second-guess your own reactions.
3. Change Your Beliefs About God. Whether we realize it or not, most of our feelings are based on our deeply held beliefs about where life and security and significance are found. Our anger problem is rooted not in our feelings, but what we believe about God. The Biblical New Testament challenge is to not change our feelings but to change our thinking. All emotions, including anger, are therefore useful to help us track down the real beliefs of our heart. Whether we believe our well-being is in the hands of God, in our circumstances, or in the hands of others is a basic factor in learning how to deal with anger.
4. Confess Wrong Beliefs And Repent. This is not merely a confession that you have sinful, angry feelings. It goes much deeper. It means coming to the recognition that you have a need to repent of your stubborn commitment to survive in life under your own terms instead of on God’s terms.
5. Place Your Anger Under New Management. While what we feel cannot be directly changed, we can change what we believe by surrendering ourselves to the Spirit and Word of God. Under His influence and enablement we will find our anger increasingly shaped and restrained by a new kind of self-control. Because God is slow to anger, we can expect that when our life is under His management we will take on some of the same qualities of patient restraint. Because God’s heart was revealed to us in His Son, we can expect to begin growing in what the Bible calls “the mind of Christ.” Under God’s management, we will take on qualities of patient restraint. Placing our anger under God’s management will not dissolve and evaporate all anger. But it will free us to express a new and godly anger toward the kind of sin in ourselves and others that slowly angers the heart of God.