This is the final part of Seeking Balance in Coping with Anger.
Develop assertive communication skills. You can use the anger to motivate you to assertive, but not aggressive, action. Assertiveness includes open, honest communication that expresses your concerns and what you want. Ghandi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s non-violent responses are examples of healthy assertive action that brought about positive change. You can do the same in your family, speaking the truth in love.
“We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.” I Thess. 5:14-15
How can we communicate assertively to others who are “unruly”, without allowing our anger to take us down the road of gossip or revenge?
Evaluate and modify your thinking in the direction of being grateful for the blessings in your life. This is particularly true when we notice an underlying hostility from unresolved anger that is beginning to fester within us. Learning to let go of offenses and embracing our blessings has great value for our own health and the health of our relationships with others.
“But I am afflicted and in pain; May Your salvation, O God, set me securely on high. I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:29-30
Reflect on how so many of the Psalms go from the hurts inflicted by others, leading to anger in David. Then, the Lord brings him to a place of praise and rejoicing in the faithfulness of the Lord.
Forgiveness is fundamental. Understanding, accepting, and letting go of offenses is a process we go through in relationships we value. This is a process that takes time for some, but is something we are all challenged to embrace.
Read Matthew 18:15-35
Reconciliation between people in conflict is clearly the ideal, even if it is not always possible. Reflect on the lessons in this passage, particularly the parable of the unforgiving servant. Consider the debt we owe to God and that He has forgiven us completely. Does any offense of others against you even come close? How might we reinforce this truth in our lives on a daily basis? Also consider Matt. 6:7-15
Modified from an original article written for the Hammonton Gazette, March 2016.