“Anyone can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way—that is not easy.”
How angry do you have to be to hear a donkey talk then you talk back to it without considering what just happened?
Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.”
(Numbers 22.28-29; ESV)
Anger controls even the words we speak. Anger is the emotions which fill our veins and drive our minds to do things we normally would not do if not filled with its powerful devices. You often hear of someone acting out of a “fit of rage.” Usually, if not always, the words which follow “fits of rage” are not promising words.
Winston Churchill said, “A man is about as big as the things that make him angry.” What gets you angry?
Two Beginning Steps to Overcoming Anger:
- Realize God is in Control – Many times we become angry over that we cannot control. Our anger is due to our thoughts not becoming a reality. God has a plan greater than ours and it is up to us to depend upon His will and His providence in our lives. Instead of making God’s plan fit ours, maybe we should make our plan fit God’s. He has a mind greater than ours and I am sure He puts us in the places He needs us. (References: Esther 4.12-14; Isaiah 55.8)
- Say “Isn’t that interesting?” – After listening to Jim Rohn one day he said when things do not work out like you think they should, step back and say, “Isn’t that interesting?” I have done my best to give that technique a try this week and I spent more time laughing that I did getting angry. Try it for a week and see how it works.
What would you add to the list?
Take a moment and read the story of “How Arthur Ashe Dealt with Anger” that I found this week.
How Arthur Ashe Dealt with Anger*
In the 1975 Masters tennis tournament in Stockholm, Sweden, tennis star Arthur Ashe was winning a feverish battle with Romanian-born Ilie Nastase, sometimes dubbed “Nasty” Nastase for his flamboyant on-court antics. He was at his worst this day, stalling, cursing, taunting, and acting like a madman. Finally Arthur Ashe put down his racket and walked off the court, saying, “I’ve had enough. I’m at the point where I’m afraid I’ll lose control.”
“But Arthur,” cried the umpire, “you’ll default the match.”
“I don’t care,” replied Ashe. “I’d rather lose that than my self-respect.”
The next day the tournament committee came to a surprising solution. Refusing to condone Nastase’s bullying tactics, they insisted that Nastase default the match for his unsportsman-like conduct.
Arthur Ashe won both in the game of tennis—and in the game of life.
*Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson’s complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (28).
Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
How do you deal with anger?
Just some thoughts,