Summary: This is a deeper study going along with the Sermon Defusing Anger - it is looking at practical ways to deal with anger. This is to be used in a small group. I want to thank Dr. Stanley and Joyce Meyer along with others for the background of this message.
Definition of Anger: It is a strong feeling of intense displeasure, hostility or indignation as a result of a real or imagined threat, insult, frustration or injustice done towards yourself or others important to you. (From Dr. Charles Stanley)
Anger is a normal emotion with a wide range of intensity, from mild irritation and frustration to rage. It is a reaction to a perceived threat to ourselves, our loved ones, our property, our self-image, or some part of our identity. Anger is a warning bell that tells us that something is wrong. - American Psychological Association
Some things you can do to deal with anger -
Some of the important things to know about anger is this:
1. Anger is an emotion - essentially neither good nor bad. It is what we do with anger that is important. It is how we handle anger that is important.
2. We do not have to be an angry person, anger does not have to rule our lives.
3. Uncontrolled anger will hurt us physically. Anger can do the same damage to our bodies as high cholesterol, diabetes or smoking and drinking. Anger can even weaken our immune system and lead to high blood pressure.
4. Uncontrolled anger will hurt us spiritually, emotionally and relationally. What is the effect our anger has on other people and on God?
Anger can lead to a life dominated by stress and depression. It can erode our respect and damage our relationships. Anger can be a career killer. Anger can cause lasting scars in the people we love the most. Anger erodes our ability to be heard and trusted.
5. Our anger can be passed down. Anger problems often stem from what you have learned as a child. Too often children who have witnessed families scream, hit one another and throw things suffer from anger issues themselves.
6. Anger can mask other issues. Issues like pride, being unable to compromise, being afraid or feeling shame or always thinking that we have to be right or in control.
Ways to sense that we are angry:
+We get knots in our stomachs +Clenched hands/jaw/teeth
+We start breathing faster +Blood pressure rises
+We start to get a headache +We get hot/clammy/sweating
+We feel flushed +We have trouble concentrating
+Our hearts starts pounding +We tense up/pupils contract
HOW DO WE HANDLE ANGER -
Normal way people handle anger
1. Repress it - sometimes they even say they never get angry. But anger is something that you really cannot hide - you can see it in a person's eyes, voice and body language.
2. Suppress it - they refuse to deal with anger.
3. Outburst - Shot gun approach - Explosion and damage
a. It is just the way I am - it is the way God made me.
God did not make people angry. It is a choice that we make. If we have a short fuse it is because we made that fuse short.
5. We allow the Holy Spirit to help us deal with our anger. We allow the Holy Spirit to help us control our anger. Not all anger can be dismissed immediately. If our anger happens as a result of a snide remark it is easy to allow that to just slide off and not stay angry. But if someone is seeking to get us fired or hurting our reputation it will take time to deal with the anger that ensues. And if someone's actions take the life of a love one then of course it will take a bit longer. Some "anger events" take longer than others for us to deal with emotionally, socially and even physically.
A. To deal with Anger - Confess Your Anger.
-Don't deny it, excuse it or repress anger. Instead, just confess to yourself that you get angry. It is not a sin to get angry. Anger can lead us into sin if we don't handle anger properly.
B. To deal with Anger - You have to identify the nature and source of what caused the anger.
-We need to understand why this event made us angry. It can be something that could have happened in our past. It can be as a result of a bad parent, school teacher or person in authority who we feel harmed us in the present/past. Some people simply are angry at God and other are angry with themselves.
C. To deal with Anger - Purpose in your heart to deal with anger as quick as possible.
-We must not simply justify all of our anger. We are to turn to scripture and make sure that we deal with anger as properly and quickly as possible. There are some things that will take us days to get over. So when we read that passage concerning anger and the going down of the sun it may mean that we simply have to acknowledge that we are angry and begin making plans on taking care of that anger. Not all anger can be removed in 24 hours. However, a great deal of small angers can be resolved in 24 hours and at least a plan towards dealing with anger properly can begin in a 24 hour period of time.