Five Essentials of Anger Management

Angry teen age boy re: Five Essentials of Anger Managment

Courtesy of 123Rf Stock Photo/Maxim Ibragimov

Anger management remains a hot topic for the web, as evidenced by the 20,300,000 entries popping up in just 0.3 seconds. After decades of working through my own short-fuse, I’ve discovered five essentials of anger management that have helped me get a grip.

For a long time, my stomach tightened whenever confronted with Bible verses such as, “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit for anger resides in the lap of fools” (Eccl. 7:9), and “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (James 1:19-20 NIV)

I listened just fine–until something provoked me. Then, I forgot all about being slow to speak and slow to anger. I jumped in with both feet, unloading a lap full of foolish anger. Sometimes, I’d misunderstood. Even the times I’d been accurate in my understanding, I discovered it didn’t make me feel one bit better to react in anger.

Today, my struggle resembles more of a tussle than World War III. I recognize that I’ll be practicing the five essentials of anger management for the rest of my earthly life. I do want to produce the righteousness God desires.

The following is the acronym that has helped me, making 20,300,001 bits of advice from which you may choose:

Accept

I had to accept the truth that anger is a choice. Yes, you can help it.

Consider this scenario: You are screaming back at your teenager who came home from school loaded for bear. You were the first bear she ran into, and now both of you are saturating the air space with vitriolic banter. The doorbell rings, though it’s a miracle you heard it, right?

Fists balled and face crimson, you stop and peek through the little viewer. The pastor is about to ring a second time.

An Open Letter to Disillusioned Teenage Girls

If you’re thinking about joining the ISIS family, this letter’s for you

Teen age girl with laptop re: an Open Letter to Disillusioned Teenage GirlsLife is hard, and injustice rules the world. You want to be part of the action that rights the wrongs. You are so ready to join a family of like-minded youth. Yup, I’m an old lady, but I totally get that. In fact, that’s exactly why I wrote you and your friends an open letter to disillusioned teenage girls.

I’m not writing to tell you not to go. I only want you to have the full story before you make the final decision to leave the home and country you’ve known. You’re close enough to those adult years to gather all the facts and make up your own mind. I know you don’t believe every tweet—Duh!—but some contain half-truths that only those who’ve been there can uncover.

Three Essentials of Wait-Training

Tired of defeat? Looking for suggestions on how to wait on the Lord without giving up?

Folks of all ages are on-board with the latest Be Your Best fad–weight- or strength-training. The trend contributes to improved health for young and old alike. Interestingly, the three essentials of wait-training are the same, contributing to improved spiritual health.

Trainer helping lady to lift weight: for Three Essentials of Wait-Training

123RF Stock Photo/Kzenon

Focus

The first step in physical change centers on narrowing one’s target and focusing the work in that area. If reducing weight is the end-game, one examines the input of nutrition, making adjustments.

If increasing strength and energy is the goal, one focuses on improving the overall muscle strength. In addition, the trainer identifies the area that needs more work, narrowing the focus to the weakest muscle group.

If you want to learn how to wait on the Lord, you also begin with narrowing your focus. It’s not enough to just decide you want God to answer your generic prayer for a better life. As with wanting to drop some weight, or acquiring a stronger body, you need to hammer out measurable goals. What does a better life look like for you?

Be specific. Select one item on the list and focus on that one. First, do what you can to stir yourself towards the goal. Then direct your prayers with that focus in mind. Be prepared for the Lord’s orders as to what you can do to be revealed before any needed miracle is released.

In my early days as a missionary, I struggled to pay back my long-standing student loan. I made only a minimal payment each month, just to keep the account active. I longed to be free of the debt, feeling conflicted every time I returned to the mission field. Then, one night I had a dream.

Four Guarantees RE: Waiting

Flying Bald Eagle, picturing the four guarantees re: waiting

Courtesy of 123RF Stock Photo/Steve Collender

If you’ve ever cried out to God for help or direction, you’ve likely experienced the challenge of waiting. Often, we’ve already wrestled with the problem for a long time before asking for God’s help. From our viewpoint, anything but an immediate answer is counterproductive, isn’t it? Apparently God didn’t see things that way, inspiring the Prophet Isaiah to record the Lord’s four guarantees re: waiting.

The vivid imagery of the passage in Isaiah 40:31 is not just beautifully written poetry, but God’s promises. If we let God teach us, we’ll see these four guarantees re: waiting bring perfect peace to our lives.

Rainbow–Not Just a Logo–the Sign of God’s Covenant

Rainbow over Bull River (Photo by from Margie Collin)

Rainbow over Bull River (Photo by Margie Collin)

Knuckles aching, I squeezed the armrests tighter. The blizzard tossed the Boeing 707 like a kite in the wind. Is this really a safer route home for Christmas 1967? Driving the snow-packed, icy Montana roads seemed less dangerous to me than my first-ever flight. That’s when I glanced through the tiny window and saw the powerful reminder, a rainbow–not just a logo–the sign of God’s covenant.

A brilliant rainbow completely encircled the jet-black silhouette of the aircraft. An immense peace flooded my anxious heart. The smile stayed glued to my face as I watched the incredible sight for the remainder of the harried flight.

I knew from Scripture, that while I looked out at that gorgeous circle of colors from Planet Earth, God looked down at the same from Heaven. Could He see me sitting inside that silhouette?