Friday, February 3, 2012

Bee stings of life

"...Man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires" (James 1:20); "Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret--it leads only to evil" (Psalm 37:8).

We expect to conquer the mountains in life and we are brought down by bee stings. And we get very angry about it, too. After all, if God keeps putting minor things like contrary people and events in our way, how can we prove ourselves in the major events? The key phrase here is "does not bring about the righteous life that God desires."

In an excellent article on anger, Hendrie Weisinger points out that we have an anger problem if:
1) we get angry six or seven times a day;
2) we stay angry for long periods of time;
3) we become aggressive when we are angry;
4) if anger is disturbing our personal relationships.

She also suggests that we make a checklist for anger control:
1) five things that make us angry, from angriest to least angriest, and then mentally rehearse how we will handle it the next time;
2) write down our own counter­punch remark for each distorted perspective we harbor;
3) practice a relaxation technique to develop a conditioned calm response when needed;
4) practice temporarily removing ourselves from anger-provoking situations;
5) practice "I feel" emotional statements; start a "feeling journal";
6) use visual aids. Actually see our reactions, and when we start to lose control, regain our composure and regroup;
7) Make a list of the six most important people in our life and then ask ourselves, "How do I direct my anger with this person?" This will help us to develop a strategy for directing our anger; and
8) think of something funny that we can do during these situations so they can become at least a little bit amusing. (From The Orlando Sentinel).

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