Using Anger to Help You

Psalm 37:7, 8
Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him . . . Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

Psalm  19:14
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my Redeemer.

Ah, after twelve hours of driving, the hotel was a welcomed sight!  Moments later, though, our relief turned to shock as we heard the registration clerk tell us repeatedly, “I’m sorry we don’t have a registration for you.  We are totally full—and so is every hotel in town.”  Instantly feeling helpless and afraid, anger rose within me.  I wanted to scream, “What do you mean you don't have a place for us?  How could you be so incompetent?  We called and made these arrangements weeks ago?”  But like a neon light flashing in my brain was the word, SOFT! SOFT! SOFT!  ‘A soft answer turns away wrath: but harsh words stir up anger.’ ”

So many times my mouth kicks into gear before my brain, but the Lord was telling me how to handle this situation.  I followed His leading and said as softly as I could,  “There really does seem to be a problem.  What do you suggest we do?”  At first the girl was cold and matter of fact, but as we continued to work toward possible solutions,  I stayed calm, asked questions instead of making demands, and listened respectfully to what she had to say.   As we talked, I actually watched this girl relax.  In a few minutes, she was working with us and not against us, and she gave us a room that the hotel holds for emergencies. 

Last week in our devotional, we looked at the five possible ways of managing anger.  The first three, suppression, open aggression, and passive aggression, don’t really get you anywhere—except deeper into a big mess!  Learning to be assertive, or to “speak the truth in love” as the Bible calls it, actually works!   When you catch yourself getting angry, immediately call on the Lord to help you.  Then take that angry energy and direct it toward solving the problem, not attacking the other person.  State your thoughts, desires, or needs in words that aren’t demanding, rude, or insensitive to the other person.  Calmly ask questions and make suggestions to deal with the problem.  Make anger work for you, not against you!

Dear Lord, I long to be what You want me to be, but sometimes my anger gets in the way.  Help me to follow Your instruction and deal peacefully with others.

By Ann Shorb
©Copyright Ann Shorb, 2006

Get information about working with a Christian counselor from CCES.

Related Articles and Devotionals:
Anger devotional
How Are You Handling Anger?
Managing Anger
What Do You Know About Anger?
Anger's Feast

MAke Anger Your AllyMake Anger Your Ally
By Neil Clark Warren, Ph.D. / Tyndale House

Learn how to make anger work for you rather than against you! With solid biblical principles and psychological insights, Dr. Warren shows you how to harness the energy of this powerful emotion---instead of resorting to suppression or denial. You'll discover creative and constructive ideas for coping with pain and resolving problems without aggression. 283 pages, softcover from Tyndale.