Release Anger Appropriately
RAMBLINGS from Lacy’s dad – Probably 20 years ago, Kris and I heard a couple speak at First Baptist Atlanta on marriage. Dr. Bill and Anabel Gillham were a sweet couple who did an incredible job communicating the love of Christ, and how we could consistently show that in our lives.
I will never forget one particular example they gave. Bill said that typically we should wake up relaxed with a stress level of maybe 1. Unless of course we overslept and had a flight to catch or a big meeting, which would elevate it dramatically. We then might climb in our car, negotiate heavy traffic as we head to the office and that stress level inch up from a 1 to a 4. As we pull in the parking lot someone cuts us off for the parking spot by the door, and our stress level inches its way up to a 7. We get up to our office where we discover the assistant did NOT print out our presentation for us, before leaving on their one week vacation. The stress level rockets to an 11 (on a scale of 0-10)! About that time the spouse calls wanting to know if we remembered to go by the cleaners and drop off the outfit needed for tomorrow…and we blow up at them!
The phone call from our spouse happened to come at a time when we were already maxed out stress wise. The same type thing might happen heading home form the office with traffic, a near miss with someone running the light in front of you, getting a negative business call, and then walking in the door and having her ask if you remembered to stop and pick up the laundry. You suddenly blow up, but don’t know why.
I can speak firsthand that this is so true. On many occasion I’ve had a day like that. I walked in the door, might be greeted by Lacy who would ask if I had time to take her to the store to buy her a thing she needed for school? This loving father, the epitome of goodness, would turn into a bear and rant and rave about always having to do this and that. The poor recipient on the other end of the conversation (in this case Lacy) would get blindsided with an often undeserved reaction.
The Gillham’s would have told you that it was the stressful things leading up to that encounter. That’s why now when I come home from work, I often walk around the yard for a minute and chill-lax before I walk in the door. I don’t want to walk in at a 9, one small agitation from going off on someone I love. Now if I do have to walk in the door stressed, I will tell Kris that I am at a 10, and it has NOTHING to do with her. That way she understands I am stressed, but its NOT her fault.
Another thing I do is if I am reminded of someone who gets my stress level up because of something they did, or did not do, I try and pray for them. Its amazing how often prayer gets my stress level headed in a downward manner.
Maybe, I need to do that more often…..
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. (Ephesians 4: 26-27)