Giving Up Anger for Lent

“My dear [mothers], take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for a man’s anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” James 1:19-21

“We do not walk away from others to punish them; we turn away so the embers of anger can cool and reason can again rule our hearts.” Lisa Bevere

 

  • It’s time to meet with Jesus. Read James chapter one. Write verses 19-21 in your journal.
  • Pray and ask God to teach you what He wants you to know through today’s devotional.

The Lenten season is such a perfect time to slow down, reflect, and think about the status of our souls. Is it well with you, dear mother? Jesus lived, died, and rose again to heal our hurts and He cares deeply for you.

In the hectic pace of Motherhood, we can develop unhealthy, negative emotions and not even realize it. When exhaustion sets in, sometimes our words and actions reflect anger, hurt, and frustration. This is what happened to me.

I grew up in an angry household, so I resolved not to be angry. As a single woman, I could hold it together, but when I became married and had young kids, I found it much harder to control my anger. I experienced so much guilt and shame because I felt I had a lack of self-control in regards to anger. So I earnestly prayed for help; Jesus heard my prayer and I started a hopeful process of healing. It was also at this time that I heard a message from Rick Warren on anger that really helped me. I hope some of the principles I learned will help you too.

Destructive emotions are typically learned responses, but through prayer, God’s Word, and some practical tools, we can overcome through the power of the Holy Spirit.

So what helps?

  • Understand the root of your anger.
    You can liken anger to a warning light. Anger is not your real problem but rather indicates that something else much deeper is wrong. There are two common causes of anger: hurt and frustration. When we are physically or emotionally hurt, we get angry. The deeper the hurt and frustration, the deeper the anger. Ask God to reveal the root of your anger and to bring healing to those areas of pain in your heart.
  • Stop and think before reacting.
    In other words, give yourself a time out! We want our reaction to the problem to be constructive, not destructive. When you start to get angry, more than anything else, you need to delay your response. Put a gap of time in there and ask yourself: how can I resolve this without getting angry? When my young daughter would not stop crying in the car, I had to pull over, get out of the car, and calm down. It is so important to stop and think before reacting.
  • Learn to cool it.
    Be aware that when tension and exhaustion levels are building up, it often will come out somehow. Sometimes the best thing to do when tension and tiredness build up is to take a nap. I’m serious! Also, my husband and I have agreed to not bring up heavy topics in the late evening. These conversations usually are unproductive and go in circles. Can anyone relate? One of the best things to help you chill out is to have more realistic expectations of what you can accomplish each day. I tried to keep my house neat 24/7, but there are days that this just would not happen, and it was okay! Let it go and learn to cool it.
  • Continually ask God for help.
    How do we get our anger out? Tell God about it and ask Him to fill you with His love. When you are filled with anger, almost anything will upset you. But when you are filled with His love, almost nothing can upset you. The Bible teaches from cover to cover that Jesus can heal your hurt. Jesus will replace your feelings of hurt and frustration with His love. He cares for you and you matter to God!

Blessings and Love,

Susan P.

Questions to Ponder

  • What causes your anger to “bubble up? What is causing you hurt or frustration?
  • What can you do to slow your anger?
  • How can you change your situation or environment to help you better deal with anger?

Faith-Filled Ideas

Psalm 86:15-16a says,

But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Turn to me and have mercy on me: show your strength to your servant.

If you blow it, dear mother, say this verse aloud and know that Jesus has compassion and grace for your soul. He wants to alleviate your misery and replace it with His tender mercy because He is loving and faithful!

 

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