Anger can be a controlling emotion. It can take over your other emotions and it can take over your life. It is an irrational emotion that causes us to lose our perspective about what is happening around us. Take for instance, driving down the road. I can be calm and peaceful one minute. Then, BAM! someone swerves in front of me! As I slam on the brakes, all self-control flies out the window. Road rage consumes me and my blood begins to boil, just like the boiling pot pictured above. Anger can make us feel strong and empowered, but moments like these can snowball into a life without self-control if we let them. Some of the ways we express anger are not acceptable, and the aftermath of a big blowup always gets to us. We see the people we've hurt because of something we said or did. We get mad at ourselves because we can't see a solution.
According to Proverbs 16:32 (NIV), we can show strength if we include self-control and patience, "Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city." Where do we get that strength? Psalm 118:14 (NIV) says "The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation." I am so thankful for God's strength, because I know I can't do it alone.
Ask your teen...
When was the last time you lost your temper?
What other emotion may have been beneath your anger? Fear? Hurt?
Challenge your teen to conquer out-of-control anger...
1. First, take a few minutes to cool off. Go for a walk and remove yourself from the situation.
2. Instead of allowing the rush of emotions to control your actions, offer your feelings to God and ask for help to respond in love. God is always listening.
3. Pay attention to what it takes for you to boil over. Begin to recognize what your breaking point is.
4. Take precautions. When you feel yourself heading toward the boiling point, take a step back.
5. Re-evaluate the situation and decide if it is actually something worth getting angry about.
6. There are things in this world that should make us angry, but the trick is to keep that anger rooted in love and truth. Ask God to show you what things make Him angry. Ask Him for wisdom about how to respond with love and truth.
Try a Breath Prayer...
As you exhale, pray: "Take away my anger, Lord."
As you inhale, pray: "Fill me with patience and peace."