Deal With Your Anger – Now!
“And do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:27 NIV)
Ramblings from Lacy’s dad – There were numerous breakfast meetings this week, but one in particular sticks out in my mind. I was having breakfast with a buddy of mine and marriage came up. He shared with me that when he got married, he was not a Christian. Then 18 months ago he had his spiritual epiphany, realizing the whole Jesus thing was true. I asked him how had that impacted his marriage. He told me it made him realize how badly he had spoken to his wife. There were things he had said, that he couldn’t take back. I could tell as I looked in his eyes, they were things that probably cut her deeply. Things that now haunted him. And frankly, I think things that if he got angry enough, in a moment of weakness, he might say again.
I asked him to describe to me his typical day, and whether he had a time of devotion with God set aside. He’s a runner, so he gets up at 5 in the morning to run and is out the door by 7 heading to work. He travels some, but the nights he is home, he is good about reading to his small children.
I looked at him across the table and told him that I admired his drive, and his willingness to have a devotion every morning. He looked at me puzzled, and said “but I don’t, I just told you my schedule”. I corrected him and told him he DID have a devotion every morning…a devotion to run. We all have a personal time of devotion every morning, the question is…is it a devotion to the physical or the spiritual health of our lives. One should take priority over the other.
Don’t get me wrong, running is a great release for us guys, especially those of us with tempers. But if it is physical exercise, void of spiritual exercise, we are missing the mark. I shared with him that I had been through the exact same struggles with my temper and a desire to exercise. Unfortunately, doing it in the morning often meant missing my quiet time, and once the day got going I never found time to do it. So, I finally had decided to do my quiet time first thing in the morning after I had showered and shaved (have to be awake enough to focus). Then it was my responsibility to find time in the day to do my physical exercise. I encouraged him to place even more importance on his spiritual health, then his physical health.
What does this have to do with anger management? If we take on all the pressures of the world, putting that burden on our own shoulders, it sets us up for repeated failure. If however, we spend time with our Creator each day, and learn to trust Him, we can get through the day with a much better attitude. Because over time, we will begin to comprehend that He is big enough to take care of our problems for us. If we combine it with some good healthy exercise, we are giving ourselves the best chance of resembling our Savior to the most important people in the world, our family.
As we parted ways that morning, my mind went back 20 years to a similar conversation. The young newlywed sitting at the table was me, and the words I would repeat 20 years later, came from my mentor, Dr. Jim….
Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and don’t give the Devil an opportunity. (Ephesians 4:26)