Finding A Way To Feel
By Beth Mabe Gianopulos
“Slowness to anger makes for deep understanding, a quick-tempered person stockpiles stupidity.” Proverbs 14:29 MSG
Even as I said the words, I knew that I should not say them. I was angry, and I could feel myself losing control. As my emotions took over, I yelled more and said more hurtful things. As the anger began to subside, I saw the hurt faces around me and knew that I had made a terrible mistake. At that point, the crushing guilt and regret took over.
Anger can be a good emotion. Anger compels us to seek justice and to change situations that are unfair. However, anger that is not righteous and that is uncontrolled can be devastating. Why is anger so hard to control?
We live in a society that teaches us that some emotions are acceptable and others are not. From our childhood we are instructed, “Don’t cry.” “Stop getting so angry!” “You need to be positive.” “Why can’t you just be happy?”
While it is not healthy to languish in depression and hostility, it is also not healthy to push down all of our emotions. When we try to “just be happy” during a devastating time, we push down the sadness and move on. When we force ourselves to ignore the anger that simmers below the surface, the anger does not go away. Instead, the anger is quiet for a while, as it slowly simmers. The more we push down our emotions and bottle them up, the more likely we are to lose control and explode.
Proverbs 14:29 says, “Slowness to anger makes for deep understanding; a quick-tempered person stockpiles stupidity.” Quick tempered anger is not only harmful to the people around us, but Proverbs 14:17 is also clear that anger can be harmful to us because “the hotheaded do things they’ll later regret.”
If we want to be slow to anger, we have to face our emotions and address our emotions as they arise. We need to find ways to feel our anger, sadness and fear. If we feel our emotions when we are in a safe environment, we can learn from our emotions and move on. When you feel intense emotions, take a few deep breaths and examine your feelings to get a clear understanding of why you are angry. Pray that God will help you manage your anger in a healthy way. It is also helpful to talk to a trusted friend about your anger. A friend can often offer insights and can pray for you.
Learning to manage our anger is not easy, but do not be discouraged. We are not to conform to the patterns of this world. Instead, God promises us that we can be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Romans 12:2 (NIV). With diligence, prayer, and perseverance, we can be transformed and learn to manage our thoughts and emotions in a healthy way.
Jesus, Thank You for allowing us to feel and for giving us emotions. Help me learn to manage intense emotions, like anger. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For more encouragement, visit Beth at PWLawyerMom.
© 2020 by Beth Mabe Gianopulos. All rights reserved.
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