How Not to be Angry, AKA How to Dwell in Joy!
"Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls." -James 1:19-21 NLT
|Joy and Anger Junk (PART 2)by MissDaniChan|
I've always had a short temper. It was really bad at times when I was younger. Cross me, and I would erupt into destructive forces like you may have never seen before.
My oldest children were often privileged to find themselves the witnesses of "Scary Mommy." Scary Mommy would go from happy and calm to angry and potentially violent (not toward them, mind you...but five year olds get scared when Mommy yells and throws things). I'm not proud of who I was then. I wasn't proud of my outbursts even then. It was all I knew.
I'm not going to blame anyone for my behavior as an adult. This was the kind of parenting I received as a child. It was all I knew...then. But that has never been a justification for the way I behaved. It just took me a while to understand that I didn't have to be who my mom had been. I didn't even have to be who I was acting like I might be back then.
I needed only to accept my shortcomings--For everyone has sinned...Romans 3:23a--and to make a conscious choice to do something different.
But do what?
I knew I was angry. I knew that my anger was destructive. So what is the opposite of anger?
But how do I learn joy? What is it?
Joy comes through the slow practices--slow to speak (quick to listen), slow to get angry (quick to forgive and understand). Joy doesn't abide in the world of right and wrong.
There are three practices of Joy, I believe:
As I struggled to own my actions, my responses to others, I learned there is a great reward in owning my behavior and changing it. It turns out, I always had a choice but I had to discover that first.
If you are struggling today with anger, I challenge you to find where you can make a choice and to act on it. See what works and what doesn't. Try something new. Choose to try something new today!
Where do you struggle the most to control your anger? Where is Joy trying to creep in? How will you encourage Joy to make a home in your life?