I am starting a 40 day anger control challenge. Over the past 7 years, I have sought many good resources to help manage anger: numerous Christian books on anger, websites, counselors, and groups like Celebrate Recovery for Anger Management classes. I have gone through many of these resources, but my anger is still there. It’s affecting all of my relationships, including my relationship with God.
Today is Day 1, April 24, and I really want to record my efforts daily and see if I could make progress. I seem to gain a step, but only to fall back two steps. I have never systematically tried to battle my anger issues like this before. I am hoping that this blog will give me the accountability to keep going and be of use to someone.
Day 1: Confess my anger as sin against God
The very first step is to confess my anger as sin against Jesus. As a natural emotion, anger is neither good nor bad, but my thoughts and actions triggered by anger have pained Jesus and hurt the people around me. My yelling at the kids, my husband, throwing things, slamming doors, being irritable and harsh–all point to a deeper spiritual problem. These actions done over many years can be devastating to myself and others. For example, it pains me to know that my children are scared of making mistakes or misbehaving because they are controlled by their fear of my anger, rather than acting out of their own moral or Biblical principles. My husband is also shut down and passive and does not like to talk to me about certain topics because he is afraid of making me angry.
The Bible is very clear about avoiding destructive anger:
26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26-27 )
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:29-32)
The root of my anger is sinful pride. I think I deserve better, or that I know better than the other person. Since I am so proud, I feel the need to control the other person to make them do what I think is best. If the person doesn’t do what I want him to do, my ego will not stand for it, and I lash out in anger at him.
Today I confess my pride and anger, and ask for forgiveness and restoration from Jesus. I also surrender the need for control.
I confess my anger is a problem that I can’t handle on my own. Please work through the Bible, Holy Spirit and the resources that I have to make headway on my sinful anger habit once and for all.
My desire for control, to have my way, my pride that I know best has been at the core of my anger issue. If anyone crossed me, I would get viciously angry. I repent of my pride and control. I know that it has been a grievous sin against You, Jesus, for a very long time. And there were many times that I wanted my way over God’s ways, so I would be secretly angry at You, Lord. I would wonder: “Why is my life like this? Why did you give me this person as a spouse? Why am I in this place?”
I’m sorry for not having faith in Your goodness and sovereignty. Please give me Your spiritual fruit of self control, gentleness and kindness. I cannot do this on my own strength.
In Jesus’s Name,