Replacing Anger

Series from RMLThis last year, I’ve been angry.  Really angry.

But it’s not new – as a child, I struggled with a temper. I was described as the strong-willed one – I’m sure my parents felt their own anger trying to raise a “wild child.”  And now with so many things I can’t control, this sin of anger has returned for me to conquer once again.

What makes me mad?  When I can’t control things.  When my schedule is interrupted. When I can’t fix things.  When I mess up or spill things. When I’m sleep-deprived. When others let me down or don’t do exactly what I want.

When I think about some of my immature and selfish angry moments, it’s really embarrassing.  I’ve since learned that anger and intense rage can be related to my postpartum depression struggles and my diet (sugar and food allergies). These are real issues, and I’m learning how to best take care of my body. BUT it’s also my sinful nature running wild, and at times I’m without excuse for my lack of self-control. Unfortunately most of this anger is directed at my daughter, husband, self, and God.

It’s Replacement TimeReplacements: anger for peace. Honesty from a wife and mom's struggles.

I think the obvious opposite to angry is happy, but I need something deeper and able to last when things are tough.  So I’m choosing to replace anger with peace.  But just in the moments and days I’ve been writing this article, I’ve lost my temper multiple times – sulking around the house, slamming things, harsh tone.  Peace is often far from my heart.  I keep thinking about how in the world I can really live with peace.

First, I’m owning my sin.  I have to admit my anger is killing my spirit. It’s setting a terrible example for my daughter of how to react in tough situations. It’s ruining the mood of my home. It’s treating my husband disrespectfully. And it’s making me miserable to be around!

Lessons to keep in mind:

  • There will always be things I can’t control.  LET IT GO.
  • Others mistakes deserve my patience and grace because we are all human.
  • The pressure of being a perfectionist will CRUSH me if I don’t let some things go.
  • Being angry doesn’t fix anything!  It only clouds my ability to actually do anything about the problem.
  • I can’t create peace.  It’s a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Today, I’ve loved imagining what my life can look like when I live with peace.  When things go wrong…Instead of gritting my teeth, I’ll take a deep breath.
Instead of looking for someone to blame, I’ll respond with patience.
Instead of a harsh tone, I’ll choose loving speech.
Instead of expecting things to be perfect, I’ll give and accept grace.

God wants to give me peace.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Philippians 4:6-8

I can’t rid this anger on my own.  I have to replace it with the peace God has for me.  I’m reminded of a line from the Proverbs 31 woman – She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.  I love that picture of a woman described like that.  I see a calm smile on her face, a trust in God, and a peace with her chaotic life as a wife, mom, and homemaker.  Her life isn’t without struggles, but she can look to the future – not in bitterness or anxiety – but with laughter!  Instead of being angry, I’m going to make peace with my circumstances.  And look to the future – laughing at the days to come.

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