Town Hall Meetings – Anger is not necessary

We are often asked to pray with people who are sick and anoint them with oil. I feel it is a real privilege. Recently, I was asked to pray for a person who was having an anger problem. Before praying I asked for some background information in order to direct our prayers.

First, let’s stop and consider how devastating and disruptive anger can be in a person’s life and how it may affect relationships. What goes on in a person’s mind to create outbursts of anger? Why does a person exhibit outrageous behavior and then be unwilling to forgive? What about a person who believes they have the right to become angry? Is the only anger we should worry about road-rage, physical threats or revenge? Have you ever met a person who seemed to be “a ticking time-bomb” ready to blow at any minute. What about people who snap and become “postal”?

Isn’t it possible we can be passionate about what we believe? Aren’t there times when we need to be stern and make sure people realize we are serious? Absolutely, and I believe we can do this without being angry. However, we must not disguise passion and sternness as a cover for anger; lest we deceive ourselves.

During my lifetime I have never seen anger raised to the level it has recently. People are angry over job losses, Wall Street executives, mortgage scams, foreclosures or health care reform. If you have been watching TV it appears many in America have allowed anger to control their lives.

I am no psychologist and can only speak from experience. For years as a store manager I had to confront hostile customers who would speak to no one but the store manager. I have been called every name imaginable because their freezer wouldn’t freeze, their washer wouldn’t wash or their cotton blouse shrank. I know what can go through a person’s mind as they stand there being berated. It’s difficult on the ego, it’s is easy to immediately develop a hatred for the individual and there is a desire to attack or at least be defensive. Over time I learned to rely on the Holy Spirit. I developed an attitude that no one or anything would affect how I feel. I refused to let anyone ruin my day. The apostle Paul went through all kinds of hardships and said that his life was filled with peace and joy. I was convinced, with God’s power, I could have the same type of life. It didn’t take long before I refused to allow anything to make me angry.

Can people frustrate me? Of course! But there is no reaction of anger. Is there any longer hate in my heart? No! There may be things I dislike but to me hate is a form of anger. And the Bible says we are to have no hate in our heart whatsoever.

Let me make a recommendation. If you want to get rid of your anger don’t hang around people who have an anger problem. If you want to become successful hang around successful people. If you want to stop drinking alcoholic beverages don’t hang around drinking buddies. If you want to become more positive don’t hang around negative people. We have tendencies to become like those with whom we associate.

After the individual gave some background information and we discussed the problem we were able to pray. We asked God to allow the Holy Spirit to surrender their heart and be submissive allowing the Holy Spirit to check anytime they felt anger bubbling up in their heart.

May I suggest with any problem we may have, we start each day praying that we are able to surrender and ask that we be checked by the Spirit who is within us to help us live the abundant life God promises.

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