Act Like Men
Men’s Leadership Podcast
#33: How to Address Anger in my Life
Great to have you here today as we explore a topic that everyone has experienced at some level. The challenge with this topic is that it can, if not checked, lead to deeper and more challenging situations. It can destroy relationships, it can cost you employment, can erode your neighborhood, and ultimately will leave you isolated and alone. What is this powerful topic we are discussing today? You may have already guessed — it is anger and what to do with it. It is a pervasive problem in today’s society. While there are no easy answers, there are a few tips we will discuss today.
What is anger? Where does it come from? What is the impact? If you have ever been really angry, you know anger is like a river rushing through your mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained. If not dealt with, it is like the dam breaks in your life and anger will flood your entire being, which as we all know has a devastating effect that can take forever to clean up — if at all.
Anger — all emotions actually — come from unrealized expectations. Quite simply it is a reaction to something that did not happen as expected. It is related to the fight, flight, or freeze syndrome. Anger is a natural defense mechanism — and we all experience it. It can be from environmental situations, or from internal factors you have experienced that create pain, confusion, inconsistency, or fear. It can be a distraction from sadness, powerlessness, shame anxiety, inadequacy, and isolation. It is a reaction — and it is a coping mechanism. While a lot of anger can temporarily remove you from the situation, ultimately too much anger too often has long-term devastating consequences that we do not want.
Anger — used appropriately can be a very healthy thing. When we get so angry about something negative in the world, an injustice of some kind, a biblical principle that is being violated, or abuse with children, etc, that we are moved to positive action completely because we know whatever is going on is dead wrong and we are moved to action to right this wrong.
Anger can be a thermostat that lets you know what you are thinking about what is happening around you — at home, work, community, etc. The opportunity to consider why are experiencing anger, before reacting to those around you.
So what does the bible say about anger — as Christ’s followers, we use the Bible as our standard by which to evaluate all things:
Proverbs 14:17: A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of wicked intentions is hated.
Proverbs 14:29: if you stay calm, you are wise, but if you have a hot temper you will only show how unwise or foolish you are.
Proverbs 29:11: Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.
Ephesians 4:26–27: In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and do not give the devil a foothold.
What are some observations from these verses:
- A quick temper that is acted upon can cause us to make foolish decisions.
- Encouraged to stay calm, even when we feel anger.
- We can be considered wise, by holding back on venting our anger.
- We will be angry — it cannot be avoided — we need to deal with it soon, so it does not take a foothold in our life.
How big is this issue with Christian men?
In all of the surveys of men that we do with churches, the need to be able to live a godly life without negatively impacting others or me with my anger is always at the top of the list. Christian men — many of who have been Christians for a long time, still deal with explosive and potentially toxic areas.
What can we do about this potentially destructive issue in our lives?
Thoughts to Consider
- Ask God to help you with your anger and release you from whatever is triggering this strong emotion in your being. Recognize that it is in you — the anger is on you regardless of the negative situation that may be causing this strong emotion.
- Ask God for the ability to come to grips with this very heated emotion in your life.
- Ask God to help you confess your anger, rather than defend yourself through anger.
- Ask someone else to be your accountability partner that you will be open and honest with and call them when something is about to blow up.
- Think before you speak. Often when we are overheated, we end up saying things we regret. Sometimes the best response is a very limited one until we get a handle on what is causing us to be so angry.
- Express yourself in “I” statements rather than “you” statements. You statements are pointing the finger at them as the problem, rather than taking responsibility for your emotions. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes” instead of “You never do any housework.”
- Present solutions, not just the problem with negative emotion. Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand.
- Don’t hold a grudge. Forgiveness is a powerful antidote to anger. Keeping in mind, we violated every possible relationship opportunity with God before we came to God, so as He has forgiven us, let us not be the judge and jury for others.
- Know that you may need some help to get past your anger. There are many avenues to get help, from support groups for anger, anger management classes, Christian counselors, and pastors. All of these can be good starting places to understand what is needed to move past unrelenting, explosive anger.
We will never be Anger free — how can we shift the focus away from the anger and focus on What would faith look like right now instead of anger?
About Wendell Morton
Rev. Morton graduated from Western Evangelical Seminary with a BA in Religious Education and a Master of Counseling Psychology, Rev. Morton was in full-time ministry for 17 years with both small and large churches. He spent four of those ministry years with Promise Keepers. He was the the US representative to PK Canada – serving on the PK Canada Board.
Wendell also spent 23 years in Corporate America. He built and led sales teams that worked with very small businesses and other groups that worked with Fortune 500 companies. He is gifted at helping identifying the next generation of leaders as well as helping those around him being successful.
Rev. Morton has a passion to help pastors and church leaders build growing churches. Having men come alongside the vision of the pastor, build a dynamic team, create a plan, and execute the model of “each one brings one” has been proven effective for more than 2,000 years. This approach is a great way for every local church in North America to grow while helping men better understand biblical manhood.
About Dale Eudy
As an advocate for ministry to men, Dale Eudy brings a combined background of leadership skills developed in the marketplace along with senior leadership experience in the Church.
Following military service, Dale earned his undergraduate degree and gained valuable systems and operations experience working for two prominent Fortune 50 companies. Responding to God’s leading in his life to focus on leaders in the body of Christ, he went on to complete seminary and served as a pastor for 16 years in a large church in the Denver area and as a denominational leader at the regional and national levels. With his background, Dale knows the heartbeat of the local church.
Dale’s passion is the discipleship (spiritual reproduction) of men. That passion is what drew him to partner with Men’s Ministry Catalyst. In his words, “The simple call of Jesus to follow him and to make fishers of men is the most foundational call in my life.” Using his spiritual gifts of leadership and exhortation, Dale is a great coach and cheerleader for those involved in the arenas of life.
Dale and his wife Kathy live in Highlands Ranch, Colorado and serve their home church, Cherry Hills Community Church. They have two grown children and a caring extended family.