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Monday, March 23, 2009

ARE YOU A TURTLE OR A SKUNK???

When something comes into your life that makes you angry, how do you respond? Do you let it all out like the skunk, where everyone around you can tell that you are upset, or do you hide in your shell like the turtle, all clammed up? Neither response is the way a Christian should respond to anger. We must learn to deal with our anger in a way that is not harmful to others (like the skunk) or harmful to ourselves (like the turtle).

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:11, "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control". Those who are skunks are not wise, but are instead foolish. This verse reminds us of this truth again: "Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.", Ecclesiastes 7:9. So, venting anger in an inappropriate way isn't good, but neither is suppressing the anger. In fact, Ephesians 6:26-27 says, "In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." But those who are turtles may decide it's better to just retreat in their shell and not deal with it. This verse tells us if we are angry at the end of the day, we MUST deal with it! Dealing with it may be going to talk to a person about a situation or it may be turning the problem over to God and the end of the day, realizing He is in total control of everything.

So, how can you learn to control your anger? Here are several ways:
1. Admit you are angry.
Anger is a natural emotion. Remember it is how we react that matters. Don’t deny or suppress it.
2. Ask for God’s help in prayer.
Pray for a forgiving heart. Pray for the person you are angry with or who may be angry with you. We can not do anything on our own, but only with God's power and Jesus' strength.
3. Read and meditate on Scripture.
Fill your mind with good things instead of thoughts of hatred or revenge.
4. Measure the issue.
Think about what you are angry about. Is it worth being angry about? Maybe when you think about it, it will not seem as serious as it seems at first.
5. Control yourself by giving God control of your anger.
Think of how fast you can control yourself if you have to - like for a phone call or the doorbell. Work on controlling anger at all times.
6. Relax.
Take a deep breath. Close your eyes. Count to 10 or 100 or 1000 :). Give yourself a chance to regain composure. Different people will have different ways to relax.
7. Find harmless outlets.
What do you do to calm down? Go for a walk. Sing. Clean house! Work in the garden/yard. Violence, rage, and destruction are not the answer.

So, leave me a comment. Are you a turtle or a skunk? And what do you do to control your anger?

2 comments:

Lori said...

I just got to thinking....I asked you to tell me which you are, but I didn't tell you which one I am. I think I'm both - depends on the circumstances. So does that makes me a skurtle or a tunk???? Neither is what God would want, I don't believe! Have a great day! We're thankful for the rain here in SW Oklahoma!

Brandi Sue said...

I don't like confrontation so I am more of a turtle! I'm getting better though now that I am older. If it's something that really bothers me and I know it is going to keep bugging me later, then I will gather up all my courage and address the problem! Thanks for the post!

 
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