Sunday, February 24, 2013

Short Fuse



I’m pretty sure almost all of us experience a short fuse at times (some certainly more than others!), and though anger is a natural and sometimes even healthy emotion, do you ever stop and wonder why you sometimes get angry without any logical explanation? Anger stems from our emotions within; sometimes our anger is a quiet, bubbling bitterness or resentment at some small or large wrongdoing, and then there are times our anger explodes and can result into revenge and hurt even those who are close to us. It can shatter communication, tear apart relationships, destroy our joy, and sometimes even our health
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The Bible has a lot to say about anger, and often relates it to a person who is without wisdom:

“Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.” (Proverbs14:29)

“Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:9)

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” (Proverbs29:11)

On the other hand, since anger is a God-given emotion (like so many other emotions) and is a natural, normal response resulting from a sense of being wronged, threatened, or hurt, anger is not always a sin. The type of anger that is not sinful is called “righteous anger”, and there are very appropriate times in our lives for anger: when children are mistreated or injured; when someone uses God’s holy name carelessly, when a loved one is betrayed or abused, etc.  But by God’s good grace we have principles and guidelines to overcome sinful anger and remain in control.

We can express righteous anger in a way that brings glory to God by…

Ø  Identifying the source of your anger

Ø  Attacking the problem not the person

Ø  Acting, not reacting

Ø  Being open and honest when communicating to solve an issue

Ø  Speaking the truth in love

Ø  Understanding that God is in control

“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”  (James 1:19-20)

The Lord is merciful and gracious; slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Psalm 103:8)

Many people feel that anger is a natural human reaction; I don’t know about you, but personally, my spontaneous outbursts of anger (or better yet…my occasional short fuse) makes me feel guilty, pretty embarrassed, and miserable! Very often, the harder we try not to be angry, the greater is our failure! However, one thing I know for sure, no one can make us angry without our own consent, and we all need God’s help to ensure we maintain a longer fuse. We need to stop making excuses for our anger or bed temper and instead seek God’s forgiveness and help. Our frustration and temper doesn’t disappear overnight, it takes constant prayer, reading God’s Word, trusting His Word, and accepting responsibility. When we begin to respond and react instead in “Godly anger” we get rid of our temper, bitterness, and fury and begin to be compassionate and loving toward one another. Being angry isn’t always a sin, but what we do with our anger might be. And scripture tells us “do not let the sun go down while you are still angry”, therefore we need to deal with our short fuse immediately and move past it as soon as possible.When we rely upon God through prayer, bible study, and His Holy Spirit, it can be overcome; we can’t stay angry if we obey His command!



“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Linking up this week with:
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20 comments:

  1. This reminded me of an incident last week. My husband was pumping gas when a couple of loud-dirty mouthed young guys were also pumping their gas both of them smoking cigarettes too!
    I opened my door and told my husband to tell the attendant when he went in to pay, and then I sat there thinking about all the things I wanted to say to those guys and getting angrier..I taught my children that you can't control other people's behavior, only your own. It is very dangerous to act out or speak out in this world anyway, as people can get violent very easily...so anger is ok, but reacting in anger is not a good idea.
    ~God Bless~ Lisa

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    1. Great story Lisa! I am pretty sure I would have been angry too, but you are right; it may have been dangerous to say anything! (probably exactly what they wanted!) Blessings sweet lady!

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  2. Anger is a strong emotion and I agree that sometimes it stems from "bubbling bitterness or resentment."

    Cheers

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    1. Better if we don't let it bubble! :) Cheers to you too, Peaches!

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  3. Very good Denise. Thank you for your wise and Biblical counsel. Anger that springs up quickly within me is something that hit on a hurt on the surface that I've not dealt with.

    If ever there is a time to take my every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, it's when I'm angry.

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    1. I can think of many times that anger was a result of hurt feelings; thankful for a Father who listens and heals!

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  4. Thank you Denise for the thoroughly thought through anger issue. In this fallen flesh, this side of heaven, the sin nature battles with the indwelling Spirit and anger, rage, and wrath are a battle ground listed. I like the "take off the old self and put on the new self" (Ephesians 4), choosing a godly and fruitful life aligned with the Lord as we walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5). I remember watching a video series om this subject by Christian Psychologist Dr. Gary Smalley, where he said to someone who made him anger: "Do you know how much you show how big my faults are?! Shocking. Its that "short fuse" that you talk about, and sometimes combines with being "thin shinned" emotionally. It is my hope that in this sanctification process of growing into the likeness of Christ, and as we get more years of experience of walk in the Spirit, along with the constant prayer, reading God’s Word, trusting His Word, and accepting responsibility that you mention. Our fuse gets pretty long, our skin gets pretty thick, that we don't sweat the small stuff and the care of this world roll off us like water on a duck. Great Scriptures verses also. Blessings.

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    1. Thanks Brian; love what you said here! Something to think about for sure: "Do you know how much you show how big my faults are?" Blessings my friend...

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    2. Denise, I appreciate your blog with its soul-searching commentary designed to have us all take a closer look at ourselves in the light of Christ, with the purpose of learning more about the Lord and improving ourselves as His Children.

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  5. Dank je wel voor deze leerzame blog / Thank you for this great lesson in your blog. Your counsel is so good for me. Every praying for the Holy Spirit ...

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    1. Blessings and love Jedidja! Have a joyful week friend!

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  6. Hi dear Denise
    Your last Scripture verse for me gives the solution for a way out our dilemma with unrighteousness anger. We should put on the new man, our spirit, in charge, the one who has learned to abide in our Lord Jesus. Thanks for your visit at my blog, dear friend.
    Much love XX
    Mia

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    1. Yes; putting on a new self every day! I love this encouraging verse! :) Love to you too Mia...

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  7. Hi Denise, I battle with anger sometimes and mostly it stems from undealt with resentment. God knew we needed lots of help here, thats why there is so much word on it :) Great post and great encouragement my friend. Thank you
    God bless
    Tracy

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    1. I am definitely thankful for the many scriptures that keep me balanced and on track! Love to you dear friend Tracy!

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  8. Good well-balanced, sensible and wise post about anger. It has helped me to learn anger is a secondary emotion, and to look for the root beneath it in some form of fear, frustration, inflicted pain, or grief over loss. Dealing biblically with what underlies it helps me de-fuse it better than anything -- especially than trying just to bury it!
    Blessings to you!

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    1. Thanks Sylvia; Blessings to you too! :)

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  9. Denise, thank you for sharing. Blessings.

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  10. This was such a good post, Denise. This is a sensitive topic to tackle because we all want to be great moms and would rather not admit to to ever having struggled with this. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit who abides in us and helps us to overcome our emotions so that we can 'take action instead of reacting."

    Thank you for linking up over at WholeHearted Home this week.

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