Why We Don’t Deal With Our Anger Quickly

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I have some dear friends, and together, we make it a point to get together once or twice a year to catch up and pray for one another. Years ago during one of our hangouts, my head hung down in shame. “I … uhm … I’m struggling with …” Oh, just let it out, I told myself. After a deep breath, I said it, “I’m struggling with being angry at the kids.”

To my surprise, there were no disapproving looks, no shocked “How could you?” They all looked at me with empathy and said “Me too.” At the time, I was a fairly new mother, and I realized for the first time, that the struggles I had were common to many moms. I wasn’t a monster after all.

But this newfound knowledge did not eliminate the problem. Unrighteous anger still reared its ugly head, and it had to be defeated quickly. The longer we hold on to anger, it will eat us up from the inside out and destroy others around us.

Perhaps by identifying some of the most common reasons why we still cling to anger, we can begin to take steps in the other direction and loosen the grip it has on our hearts.

Here are 5 reasons why we may fail to deal with our anger in a swift manner.

It feels good.

It doesn’t feel good the way a relaxing bath feels good or the way the gentle breeze cools your skin on a hot day. Holding on to your anger feels good only to you because it indulges your desire to have certain emotions towards another. But let me warn you. This pleasure is fleeting.

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I want to hurt the other person.

We’ve been hurt, so we naturally want to hurt back. And at the moment, vengeance seems to be the only viable option. But is it really beneficial? If there’s a way to reconcile, pursue it. If not, let it go and don’t bind yourself unnecessarily to an endless cycle of hurting one another. “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands” (Proverbs 14:1). Don’t let your vengeful words tear down even those closest to you.

I want to be right.

Often, we think that leaving our anger behind means that we’ve admitted our wrong, and worse, we’ve admitted that the other person is right. Let me just say this because I’ve been there. If you are truly in the right, you will not persuade the other person of that if you are letting loose your wrath. “A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated.” (Prov 14:17)

I’m not getting what I want

scream and shout

My kids do this all the time. My 3-year-old has begun kicking and fake crying to get his way, “I. want. that. toy.” But don’t we do the same thing minus the kicking and phony tears? Do you know one of the main reasons why I thank God for blessing me with my children? It is because He holds them up as a mirror before me, showing me how I can be before Him, my Heavenly Father.

I don’t know where to start

Maybe you’ve been angry for so long that you’re not sure how to peel all the layers of bitterness, hurt, revenge, wrong thoughts, rage, and frustration. The absolute best thing I can do for you is to point you to the One who is the maker and keeper of your heart. Calming techniques and anger management methods may help, but if the root problem is in your heart, you need God. He will pull you out from the mire of anger. He will enable you to love and forgive. And, He will grant you the strength to overcome.

What are other wrong reasons we can have to holding on to our anger?

 

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47 thoughts on “Why We Don’t Deal With Our Anger Quickly

  1. Love this! So true that sometimes holding on to our anger for awhile can just feel good. We don’t want to let it go when we are truly only hurting ourselves!

  2. Such an important post for all moms. Parenting can be so frustrating! I’ve found tag-teaming with a spouse helps. I might say, “please take over. I have to step away” and I’ll do the same for him. Removing myself from the situation is not always possible, but when it is, it’s best 🙂

    1. Understanding one another is a step towards reconciliation. Letting go of our anger helps us take a step in that direction.

  3. It is so good to know that I’m not the only one. I struggle daily with trying to temper my anger. I sometimes wonder if there is a method or something that will cure it all and make me a better mom. I’ve looked, researched, and prayed for a solution. It’s the yelling that really gets to me. I just don’t want to yell at my kids – ever.again. I love how you said “Do you know one of the main reasons why I thank God for blessing me with my children? It is because He holds them up as a mirror before me, showing me how I can be before Him, my Heavenly Father.” Oh wow. So good and so true. Thank you for this today, Ai.

    1. I would have to add that, not only do I see myself in my children, when they get angry, but I also see how I need to respond to them when I see how the Lord so patiently deals with me in my anger.

  4. This is a great reflection and reminder. I have really started to notice alot of me in both my kids, stuff that I need to work on and change to see a change in them. You are so right about them being mirrors…
    Thanks for linking up #SHINEbloghop

  5. Sometimes it isn’t that I am so upset with the other person or the situation it is perhaps I’ve let fear get a foothold. Both are not His plan or way but my response often hinges on the inability to know what to do and being afraid more than anything else. When I realize that God is fully in control, the ability to react always turns into a response instead. 🙂
    So glad you have friends to pray and enjoy this time of fellowship, what a difference that makes!
    Blessings!
    Dawn

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences! The conflicts that we face God uses to show us, like you said, that He is the one in control. We experience true peace when we submit to Him. Thanks for visiting!

  6. I needed to read this. Thank You. Thank you for reminding how important it is to control my anger, even though I wouldn’t take it out on my little one. I tend to build it up inside. And that’s no bueno either.

    1. Yeah, I’ve let it build up inside too. But sooner or later, it will boil over on some unsuspecting person. Good for us to always check ourselves, right? Thank you for your comment!

  7. For me, I use it as a way to release my feelings and my emotional burden. I don’t know if that makes sense but seems like it. I don’t usually get mad with small things. I’ve learned not to sweat the small stuff. But when I do, I guess it’s a world war. Geezz. It really pays to control your anger before you can actually do or say something you will regret.

    1. Yes, that’s where I’ve messed up many times … when failing to control my anger has led to many words that I can’t take back. Sure there’s forgiveness and reconciliation, but I have to live with that regret.

  8. Yep! And I think sometimes it’s also just because we don’t know a better way. As in, we know WHAT we are supposed to do, but we don’t really understand how to get there.

  9. Wonderful post and such a great reminder. I think holding onto our anger can be addictive too.

    I hate holding onto anger because usually I end up exploding and it’s far more challenging to ask for forgiveness when there are words thrown out that you just can’t take back.

    Little, rational, discussions, works so much better.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

  10. Sometimes we hold onto it because we just don’t know how else to handle things. Anger isn’t one of my big issues, but being a mom to a strong willed child has made me realize even I can have a temper sometimes.

  11. Great post Ai! Anger is a tricky emotion… Healthy to a degree but only if handled correctly and balanced. I haven’t struggled as much with this one lately but I certainly do struggle with it and had a very hard time with it in my marriage. In the end, it gets us nowhere to hold into it. Thanks for this reminder!

    1. Yes, it is very tricky. Sometimes the anger is just within, but if I don’t deal with it the right way, it will be harmful to others around me. I remind myself, “Be angry but do not sin.” If it’s not dealt with quickly, it will more than likely lead to sin.

  12. I think every mom needs to deal with this at some point. I’m definitely dealing with it now even with my 2 month old! And even before she came into my life actually. We need God’s grace to be able to handle difficult situations!

  13. Being angry is a poison, letting it go is grace. I love that the bible, Psalm 4:4 tells us to sit on our beds and be silent, searching our own hearts. Like God invented the timeout.

  14. Forgiveness is key and true forgiveness also forgets. I have a hard time of forgetting and then it comes back up later because I was never truly over it. This isn’t fair to anybody. I’m so thankful Jesus forgives and casts our sins to the depths of the sea. They’ve already been taken care of.

    1. So true! Withholding forgiveness is a clear sign that anger has truly not been dealt with. And though at times it may be hard, we can forgive because we have already been forgiven much.

  15. Lately there has been a lot of yelling and anger at our house, I’m trying to figure out the cause, but haven’ come to any good reasons yet, except that the boys have gotten to where they won’t listen unless the tone is loud, something I don’t want to continue and hope to break soon. Definitely need to be more consistaent with the consequences and discipline.

    1. When I’ve noticed that in my home, much of it really has to do with me. Like you said, gotta be more consistent with the discipline and also being examples to my kids of self-control. It starts with us, right?

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