This is a continuation of Seeking Balance in Coping with Anger.
Consider the offense before responding. Focus on the big picture, rather than reacting on impulse. Attempt to understand their reason for offending you in the way they did, or if they even meant it as an offense. What is really triggering your feelings of anger? How might your response affect your future relationship?
“A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.” Proverbs 19:11
How can reflecting on situations that trigger our anger help us grow wiser in our responses?
Release the anger before the day is over. Holding on to your anger is not worth it on many levels, including your health. Research has even shown it increases pain and depression levels. Seek to release the anger as quickly as possible.
“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,” Ephesians 4:26
Reflect on how it is permissible to be angry, but it is wise to let it go as quickly as possible. What helps you to do this?
Tell yourself “I am not easy to offend.” And believe it. You really can modify your habitual ways of thinking.
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2
Consider how the disciplines we learn through being disciples of Christ help bring about transformation in our ways of thinking and our behavior. See also Colossians 3:8
Avoid a victim mentality. Even if you are a victim of unfair treatment, you do not want to get stuck there. Instead, look for ways to empower yourself and take responsibility to manage your life and relationships in healthier ways. Considering your situation from the position of an equal rather than from a superior or inferior position can help you negotiate relationship conflicts and work toward win-win solutions.
“Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:19-21
Consider how you have been a victim of wrongdoing, and how difficult it was not to respond with some form of revenge, passive or aggressive. How can we find the grace and strength to avoid this natural pattern?
Next week we will finish with part 3 of Seeking Balance in Coping with Anger.
Modified from an original article written for the Hammonton Gazette, March 2016.