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Posts Tagged ‘anger’

courtesy Alexiscorvus | Dreamstime.com -

courtesy Alexiscorvus | Dreamstime.com –

Throwback Thursday….from a post three years ago. I needed this reminder. Maybe you do as well.

 

An author friend of mine, Anita Klumpers*, posted this on Facebook about her grandson:

Lesson learned from a 37-month-old, trying to control his sad tears: “Liam, how did you stop crying so fast?”
“I made my mouth go different.”

Scientists state it takes less muscle effort to smile than to frown, but often times it takes a lot more spiritual muscle effort, doesn’t it?  It is hard to stay upbeat, positive and hopeful when the world dumps troubles and strife on our shoulders like buckets of coal.  Yet, as Paul wrote to the Philippian Christians, we are supposed to rejoice, be thankful in all things and steadfast in prayer.  Is this possible?

Yes- if we make our mouth go different.

  • Take a deep breath and move your lips into a smile. It is hard to be angry, hurt or anxious if you can smile, or even drum up a chuckle.
  • Open our lips to only speak good things. Our grandmothers were right. If you don’t have anything nice to say…
  • Audibly Praise God no matter what and pray for Him to alter your attitude.

The next time you feel your lips quivering into a frown, ask our Lord to help you make your mouth go different. That is not to say emotions are not valid. There are times we should be sad or angry. Jesus cried.  He also overturned tables in the Temple.

I’m also not insinuating we shove our negativeness down our gullets where it can fester. But, we can change our attitude by purposely altering our body language and our thoughts.  We can choose to brood and be rude or make the choice to rejoice. We can give our angst to God instead of spreading it to others and pray for Him to give us the attitude of gratitude instead of stinkin’ thinkin’.

“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.” Ephesians 4:26-27

Each moment we have an option – be hopeful or despair, trust or distrust, stand firm or melt into a pool of self-pity. How will you make your mouth go today? However it goes, your thoughts and attitude will follow.

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Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shalt not be cured. Jeremiah 46:11

It’s word time again! This time, I made a typo in a work in progress. I meant to type salve and it came out slave. Yep, the brain went into gear again as the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear.  God can teach us from our boo-boos.

When the L and A flip, the meaning become almost the opposite. One is frightening, the other calming. One is horrid, the other welcomed. So what are the L and A?

I see it as the “L” as Lord/love and the “A” as Anxiety/Anger/Anguish. Follow along, now.

We can be slaves to our negative emotions so quickly. It is as if a little elevator in us suddenly rises when the button is pressed. Either anger surfaces or anxiety levels raise when we are transported out of our comfort zones by circumstances we didn’t foresee. Maybe both ride up our esophagus together, pressing against our heart on the way! It “lords” over us. The A pushes past the L. When we choose our anxiety, anger, or anguish to rule, it enslaves us.  It never goes away. It keeps resurfacing, or it festers deep within us and ferments into bitterness.

But turn to the Lord and give Him our “a”s in life, and the experience can become a salve, not only for ourselves but for others as well. We see it through His eyes and love, rubbing deep into our souls and our tenseness, blood pressure, and worry plummets. He is the cure, our Great Physician. Prayer brings the Lord’s answer. His peace can be the salve that soothes. The Balm of Gilead mentioned in Jeremiah.  In the ancient world, this balm from Gilead was known as a rare perfume oil that was used on all sorts of ailments from headaches to sprains to stomach aches to mental disturbances.  It literally was thought to soothe the soul. The A is followed by the L, changing our reaction.

It is an established fact in the medical and psychological community that the healing capability is often linked with the mental state of the patient. Patients with a positive outlook and a deep faith handle their diseases much better. In fact, quite a few miracles have been documented.

Not that faith heals us physically every time, or when an illness isn’t healed it is due to a lack of faith.  We are, after all, temporal beings. But how we face the adversities of life can make a huge difference in our mental, spiritual and physical health.

So, you choose what will follow after the circumstance presents itself. SLAVE or SALVE.  Does the Lord follow the anxiety or anger and calm it down, or do the anxiety and anger chase after the faith and love we know about and pushes them out of the way?

 

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Jesus rejected at Nazareth by Alexandre Bida

Jesus rejected at Nazareth by Alexandre Bida

As I sat in church and listened to the Gospel lesson, one verse jumped out at me. It was the passage about Jesus being rejected in his own hometown. He angered them so much the mob dragged him to the edge of the cliff to throw him off….But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way. (Luke 4:30)

That is the verse which grabbed my heart. Can you picture it? These men all yelling at once, turning to each other, egging the others on. The voices escalate. A few curse words and shoves ensue. Their angst brewed to a tempest in a teapot and hey were so caught up in their anger and hurt they didn’t notice him pass through them, calm, quiet, unscathed.  Reminds me of those old Westerns barroom brawls.  The two cowboys who started it shakes hands, shrug  and walk out, leaving the others in the midst of their ruckus.

I wonder how many times I’ve gotten so caught up in the moment that I fail to recognize Jesus standing there.  Do I let my anxiety, anger, hurt or frustrations consume my attention to the point  that I not only do not hear the message He has for me but perhaps turn my anger towards Him?  Like the men in Nazareth, do I want Jesus to do things my way more than I want to listen to His wisdom?

.Jesus backs off.  Not out of fear for His well being, but because He knows, as any of us do, when someone is riled up they lose any ability to think rationally. No use trying to talk any sense into them. He lets lets me stew in my juices a while.

Emotions are not bad in and of themselves. But when we simmer  on issues and stir them into swirls of bubbling gripes, do we not lose perspective? We cannot think clearly through the problem because our brain is clouded. Worry, frustration, anger fogs the reality. Molehills loom into mountains.

If only we can take a slow, deep inhale and exhale, perhaps we can simmer down and then open our faith ears to His message, learn the lesson, feel His healing power. The difference between the men at Nazareth and those at Capernaum was one simple thing- reception.

The next time, I hope I remember this Gospel lesson, stop and say, “Wait Lord. Come back. Sorry. I’ll listen to you now.”

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You may be familiar with the passage in Ephesians 4:26 which says to not let the sun go down on your anger. It is often given as marital advice.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????But, anger itself is not evil.  The first part of verse 26 says: Be angry, and sin not, it doesn’t say to  never be angry because that’s a sin.

So where does the sin part come into the picture? It is all in how you handle your anger.  Anger that brews or broods can become toxic.  In fact, the next verse, 27, says to give no opportunity to the devil.  When we mull over our hurt and angry feelings like a cow chews its cud, that is like sending the evil one a personal invitation to come into our hearts and minds.

Anger doesn’t have to be a destructive emotion. It should be the catalyst that drops us to our knees, not fly off the handle.  Righteous anger happens when something vehemently against the Word of God happens. When that anger rears up inside of you, it is a prompting by the Holy Spirit.  It is a call to action – to pray, to  peacefully protest, to speak truth.  It is not a call to lash out, say things you will regret later, or hold a grudge. You can find God in the middle of your anger.  In fact, you should.

So, go ahead – be angry. Righteous anger over being violated or robbed, or hearing about atrocities such as sex slavery and child trafficking should get your bile boiling.  When someone hurts our loved ones, we should get riled. But, stop it there. Give it to God and let Him channel the anger according to His will. Remember that God is the one who has the right to judge others, not us. We are to forgive so we can be forgiven.  Like separating the shaft from the wheat, we must ask God to separate our emotions from our anger.

And, if you are angry at God because you don’t understand why or how He could allow something to happen, that’s okay as well. Beat on His chest and scream like a two year old. That’s being honest and raw. God can take it. Just don’t turn away from Him. Ever. Give Him the chance to heal you, correct you or comfort you.

Be angry- that’s okay- but don’t turn it into a sin. Don’t let it separate you from the One who loves more than anything, or the ones who are trying to love you the best they can yet still manage to step on your feelings. Before the day is over, lay that anger in the hands of the One who knows the best way to handle it.

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