Forgiveness: An Antidote for Anger
Perhaps you’ve heard me talk about the formula for Intentional Living: Information + Insight + Action = Intentional Living.
But let me offer another easy equation that’ll help you overcome a malady that infects us all: Anger.
It’s Kindness + Love = Forgiveness – drawn out of Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
We generally deal with two kinds of anger:
- Anger shown to you by others, or
- Anger shown to yourself that’s present in your own life
Here are a couple of ONE THINGS to help you intentionally respond for each scenario.
Anger against you…
- Respond to the person, not the anger – Try to speak to that part of the person’s consciousness that is less agitated, but wait until the initial emotional response has cooled down. A word of warning: If you know their anger is out of control, then your first priority is to protect yourself. Abuse is never to be tolerated.
- If you don’t have to be with the angry person, get away – Proverbs 22: 24-25 says, “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” Unless the angry person is a spouse or child, you must avoid them – plain and simple.
Anger from you…
- Acknowledge that you have a problem – Recognize that unless you get a handle on the anger, the relationships you cherish the most may be jeopardized. As you begin to see the consequences to uncontrolled anger, they’ll help motivate you to take the disciplined approach necessary to overcome this emotion.
- Recognize the triggers – Consider for a moment the last three anger episodes in your life. What were you thinking and feeling just before you became aware that you were angry? Don’t be surprised if you start to see a pattern.
Intentional forgiveness allows you to move forward with a healthy outlook. You can manage your anger. The decision allows you to let go and perhaps develop feelings of empathy and compassion. Forgiveness allows you to see the beauty in life.