Focus: Recognizing and dealing with one of the dangerous results of disappointment
James 1:19-20 (NIV) My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
I believe disappointment is one of the core factors in most cases of depression and dependency. Your dream job turned into a nightmare. The marriage you thought was ‘made in heaven’ ended up driving you to the brink of insanity. You lost your home. Your children turned their back on you. Your friend betrayed you. Someone else took off with your BIG idea. Things didn’t turn out as you had hoped…
In the state of disappointment, we can be wishing for answers and be desperate for someone to understand us. But, often the minute anyone tries to approach us and offer help, we lash out with an impulsive and often insulting response that is unfair. Later, we may feel ashamed and bewildered—wondering, “Where did that come from?”
Anger is a touchy subject. It’s not fun to think about, talk about, or write about. We use all kinds of excuses to cover it up or justify the usually unplanned outbursts. Often, we blame others for the pain in our own heart that resulted from unresolved disappointment…that gave way to depression…that led to anger.
If left untended, anger can take on a life of its own. It can become ‘a place you go’, ‘a way you act’, or ‘where you live’. Anger has to go somewhere—but, it usually doesn’t just go away. It can grow, taking on different personalities and forms of expression. Sometimes you think it’s gone–and then, BAM.
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Anger may be an active or passive reality in almost anyone’s life. We’ve all had experiences that would justify some type of anger.
The Bible doesn’t hide the fact that ‘anger happens’. But it does tell us how to deal with our anger.
Think of anger like gasoline. It is a known explosive. You wouldn’t light a match next to the open gas tank of your car. It would blow up–destroying your car, probably killing you and anyone else who was nearby.
You wouldn’t get in your car, turn on the ignition and then mash your accelerator to the floor and just leave it there until the car ran out of gas, would you? You would probably end up in a horrible crash, totally ruining your car, possibly harming yourself–and other people who couldn’t get out of your way…
When you are trying to recover from depression and dependency—anger is most likely something you battle with. At first, you might see it as ‘just letting off steam’. But even steam can cause treacherous burns and lasting scars.
The above scripture can help enormously. The technique of being quick to listen and slow to speak is God’s method for keeping things from getting out of control. If you’re battling anger, the only way you’re ever going to be able to manage it, is by making a conscious choice to stop blowing up. You also have to start taking ownership for ‘losing it’ and repent, if you fail.
It might be a good idea to copy down the words of the scripture for today on some paper and put it up in some prominent places where you’ll be reminded of it on a regular basis while you are working to reform your ways—especially when you feel things starting to get ‘hot’.
Declaration: I will find new strength by delaying my response when I’m provoked. To keep from further hurting myself and others—I choose to listen and wait.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.
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