Choose to forgive.  After people hurt or offend you, you can choose to respond either with anger that will harm you even more or through the forgiveness God calls you to pursue.  You can rely on God to help you through each step of the forgiveness process, despite your feelings.  Instead of mentally replaying the incident in which you were wronged, focus your mental energy on positive and healthy thoughts.  Pray for the people you need to forgive, asking God to bring something good into their lives.  Gradually, you’ll start to see your feelings toward them change.

Break the generational cycle of anger.  You can help prevent your children from dealing with anger in destructive ways by blessing them through intentional acts like speaking words of encouragement to them, giving them physical affection (hugs, etc.), and offering visionary prayers that focus on how you believe God will use them in the future to fulfill great purposes.  Talk with your children often and help them develop a biblical view of life.  Teach them to talk through anger when they experience it, and respond to it in ways that reflect biblical truth.

Help your wife help you.  Talk with your wife about how she can respond to your anger in ways that will help you calm down and deal appropriately with your anger.  Encourage her to listen to you, empathize with you, gently explain what happened from her perspective, walk away when you’re too angry to talk calmly at a particular moment, and work through the forgiveness process with you.

Adapted from When Good Men Get Angry, copyright 2009 by Bill Perkins. Published by Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Ill.,
Bill Perkins has conducted business and leadership seminars across the United States for companies such as Alaska Airlines and McDonalds.  Bill has appeared on nationally broadcast radio and television shows, including “The O'Reilly Factor.”  He addresses men’s groups around the world and has conducted chapels for major league baseball teams.  Bill served as a senior pastor for 24 years and is the founder and CEO of Million Mighty Men. He is a graduate of the University of Texas and Dallas Theological Seminary.  Bill has authored or collaborated on 17 books, including Six Battles Every Man Must Win, 6 Rules Every Man Must Break, and the best-selling When Good Men Are Tempted. He also coauthored the business book Give ‘Em the Pickle!  He and his wife, Cindy, live in West Linn, Oregon. They have three sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.

Original publication date: August 11, 2009