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Four Lies About Anger

By Leslie Vernick


Stop being angry! Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper- it only leads to harm.
Psalm 37:8


Anger is a normal part of being a human being, but it can be a dangerous emotion and has the potential to wreck our relationships and our lives.

Here are the four most common lies about anger.

1. When I feel angry, I must let it all out.

Too much damage has been done to people we love by blurting out angry feelings in the moment of their greatest intensity. Doing this might provide some sort of relief but it is never beneficial to the hearer or the relationship. I liken it to vomiting. You do feel better getting it out, but vomit belongs in the toilet, not on another person.

Proverbs 12:18 says, Reckless words pierce like a sword and Proverbs 29:11 warns us that, “Only a fool gives full vent to his anger.”

Better ways to get some relief from intense anger is to journal or pray your honest emotions to God. In the process, you might find some perspective on what to do with them and how to express them constructively.

2. Other people or provoking situations make me angry.

We all believe this lie at times. We say things like, “You make me so mad!” or “If you wouldn’t have done that, then I wouldn’t have reacted that way.”

Difficult people or situations don’t MAKE us angry, although they do tempt us. What really happens when we encounter these kinds of people is that they expose us. Jesus tells us, “It is out of the overflow of your heart, your mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45).

What comes up and out of your mouth when you are angry exposes what’s in your heart. Often our heart is filled with self-centered lies or desires.

Start to listen to your internal self-talk when you feel angry. For example, “I can’t believe this is happening to me” or “it’s not fair, why me?” or “I need to teach him/her a lesson” or “they can’t get away with this.”

Instead of blaming others or the situation we’re in, we can start to understand what the real problem is that’s causing our anger to escalate. Our own thought life.

Then we can work to calm ourselves down (with different self talk and God’s Word) instead of demanding that life always go our way or that everyone do what we want or make us feel better.

3. I’m entitled to use my anger to get what I want if what I want is a good thing.

Anger motivates us and helps us to speak up against wrong, as well as take action to fight against injustice and evil in our world. Because it is such a powerful force however, the apostle Paul warns us not to sin in our anger (Ephesians 4:26).

Most of the time what we want is permeated with self-centered desires. We WANT our way. We want to be right. We want to be first, or catered to. We want our needs to be met. And we’re angry because we’re not getting what we want.

James 4:1 asks us what is the source of quarrels and conflicts among us? He says it comes because we’re not getting what we want.

Part of spiritual maturity is to learn to accept that we don’t always get what we want, even if what we want is a good thing. Living peaceably with other people involves realizing that what I want and what someone else might want may be very different. The Bible tells us not to merely look out for our own interests (what we want), but also the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4).

The truth is anger is a powerful emotion that deceives us into using it to demand our own way.

4. I have always had a bad temper and this is just the way I am. I can’t change.

The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that he not only redeems us but he restores us. He changes us.

If you want to get a handle on your anger, anger is not the problem you must address. Your temper is a symptom of what’s going on in your heart. If you gain self-control over your temper that’s great, but the deeper problem that causes your anger is what needs to change.

Romans 8:5 says, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the spirit desires.”

How we act and live flows from what is in our heart — what we desire or want the most. God wants to rearrange the desires of our heart so that we no longer want our own way the MOST, but rather we want to please him and love him and others.

When God changes our heart it’s not that we never get angry, but we no longer want to use our anger as a weapon to demand our own way, prove our point or make sure everyone knows we’re right. We don’t want to hold onto grudges, nurse resentment or harbor bitterness in our heart. Instead we want to forgive and reconcile.

When Jesus changes our heart, instead of only wanting MY way, I want to look out for the interests of others because I care about them and therefore I hold my anger in check when I’m not getting what I want and weigh that with what others might want or need.

How? I’ve had a change of heart and I no longer see myself as the most important person. I am no longer at the center of my life — Jesus is.

Becoming more and more like Jesus is not just trying to do the right thing, but wanting to do the right thing and then learning how.

James tells us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for a man’s anger (or a woman’s anger) does not produce the righteous life that God desires. (James 1:19,20)

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My First Place

by Vicki Heath

My First Place is a lively and life-changing book by Vicki Heath. The book chronicles the successes of the faith-based wellness and weight loss program and offers rich insights from the author about how to live a healthy lifestyle, including numerous other individual success stories and photos.

The journey begins with a verse.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30

The FP4H program is more than weight loss. You will make changes in your thought patterns, your emotions, the way you fuel and recharge your body with food and exercise, and the way you relate to God and others.

  • Discover the Live It Plan—not a deprivation diet.
  • Learn to choose foods with benefits—not detriments.
  • Change your attitude about exercise.

Are you ready to choose the path of loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?

Two winners will be selected in our next newsletter.

If you would like to enter to win, you can click here to provide name and email address.

The winners of "Refresh! A Spa for Your Soul" by Lucinda Secrest McDowell are Kathleen E. and Valerie M.


My Husband Says It's My Disrespect That Causes Him To Hit Me

Question: My husband says that he is put into a kind of uncontrollable rage when I disrespect him because it is his God-given right as the husband to be respected. Last night I told my husband, who has physically struck me in the past, that I felt unsafe in our marriage and that I thought it was necessary that we lay some ground rules and boundaries specifically to be enforced during our times of arguing and fighting so that we can keep each other accountable.

He resisted in agreeing boundaries were the issue but finally agreed. I told him that a universal boundary should be absolutely no physical striking or threats of physically or hurting of any kind toward one another. To that he said that his boundary equivalent to that was “no disrespect/raising my voice to him.” He said that when he is disrespected, he feels he is being verbally abused by me and it feels as terrible as I feel when he slaps me on the arm/leg/head.

In theory, this sounds “right.” He says that I am making a double standard when I put a boundary on his behavior but that he cannot on me. And yet, something does not seem right at all about what he is saying. I agree that disrespecting your husband is as sinful as physically striking your spouse in anger. Is it biblical to see these exactly the same in terms of setting “off limit” boundaries in disagreements?

Answer: Your struggle to think clearly in this muddle is common to women who live with abusive men. I want to help clarify some important truths. First, the sin may be the same, but the consequences are not. His sin of hitting you is not just sinful, it’s illegal.

Second, your husband’s rage and subsequent acts of violence toward you are not uncontrollable. He has total control and limits himself right now to certain levels of physical violence (that he feels are acceptable). His behavior is always his choice.

In addition, I’m sure he has experienced disrespect from other people in his life – his employer, a rude driver, your children, a friend, or an enemy. People sin against us all the time in many ways and sometimes we do get angry. However, that doesn’t mean we hit them. In fact, isn’t that what we teach our children NOT to do when someone takes their toy or makes them mad? We don’t hit people when we’re mad. Period!

Here is What People are Saying About Leslie's Intro to Core Strength Class

"I loved hearing the words that CONFIRM what I have been going thru for so long is WRONG, WRONG,WRONG.. And the courage to bravely reach out to other women being kept in the darkness. When I asked the Lord to show me how He saw me, I closed my eyes and immediately saw a small white daisy with light purple edges. I saw its petals opening. I know I am that flower opening, blossoming, with new found courage in to the woman I really am. Thank you!"

~Intro to CORE Strength Participant

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Leslie Vernick PO Box 5312 Sun City West, Arizona 85376 United States