Overcoming Anger and Frustration

Overcoming Anger and Frustration

I played many sports growing up, and frustration was always a present factor. There were times when I let my emotions get the best of me, and not only did I pay the consequences, but so did my team. Not being able to control my emotions and letting anger or frustration get the best of me was detrimental to the success of my team. Not only did I let myself down, but I let my teammates down. I understand that sports analogies don’t always apply to every situation for everyone, but they helped me and hopefully can help others.

James 1:19-20
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." 

As my son advances to more competitive levels of sports and the talent gap starts widening, he has, and will, experience situations that will test his emotions and resolve. Controlling his emotions is something he needs to learn, and we all should learn this as well. Also, my youngest seems to have issues controlling her emotions. She's the youngest and relatively small for her age, so everything is a struggle for her to fit in. Everything needs to be fair in her eyes, but this is an unachievable expectation. As a parent, it is hard to see my kids in that state. Sometimes, it is frustrating, maybe even to the point of feeling like an inadequate parent. When our children, or even ourselves, are experiencing frustration, we can let hurtful words slip that is not intended. How can we prevent that from happening? How can we be an example? 

Ephesians 4:29
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Ephesians 4:32
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Instead of blurting out what our emotions dictate, we are called to have a ‘filter.’ A filter in our words, in our thoughts, and our hearts. Despite being in situations beyond our control and facing overwhelming emotions, we are called to use uplifting and kind words. God calls us to forgive as Christ forgave us. Psalm 34:13-14 says, “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” Hold our tongues and seek peace. Seek peace within that stressful situation. Seek the peace that surpasses all understanding because this is how we guard our hearts and minds…in Christ (Philippians 4:7). Peace allows us to have that filter to guard our minds, words, and hearts. His peace provides the calm required to continue. 

2 Timothy 1:7
“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

Romans 12:21
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

We, as Christians, will experience situations where our emotions will be severely tested. We will be frustrated, we will be angered, and we will be hurt, but we are to be in control and overcome these fleeting emotions. God's Word gives us plenty of examples and encouragement to overcome our emotions. However, hearing something and applying it are two different things. Controlling our emotions take practice, lots of patience, and an abundance of humility. But, God’s Word says that God gives us a spirit of self-control and love. It is through the Holy Spirit’s presence in our hearts. By this, we can have the power to overcome evil, or sin, with good. 

Proverbs 19:11
"Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense."

Proverbs 14:29
"Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly." 

Easier said than done. But, we are to listen and then think about our words carefully before we speak. Being slow in anger sounds great, but it can be a difficult task. What can help you in the process of progressively becoming angered is having self-awareness or ‘good sense.’ This wisdom is granted by God as you grow closer to Him in your Christian walk. It takes having the peace that only God can bestow upon us.  Recognizing your emotions and identifying the stressors is a step in the right direction. Once we become aware, then we can control what happens next. God gives us the ability to overcome. God provides us with the ability to understand our emotions and gives us the strength to remain calm in frustrating situations.

John 15:12-13
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. "

John 13:34-35
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

We see that we are commanded to Love. And it is through our love and passion for Christ that we can demonstrate love toward others. When we pursue the heart of God and dig deeper into His Word, loving others becomes second nature. Our hearts transform and become capable of being slow to anger and slow to speak. We gain wisdom through the Holy Spirit acting on our hearts. The Holy Spirit provides us peace, composure, and stillness during frustrating situations. The Holy Spirit allows us to endure all things through love.

So, remember that it is God who grants us the ability to remain calm and collected under pressure. Letting our emotions take control can lead to a downward spiral into sin. God calls us to cast aside anger, but we are human and struggle. However, we have the ability to ask God for help and wisdom through prayer, and He hears our prayers. God will meet us where we are at, but we need to be the ones to open our hearts and our eyes to see Him standing next to us, ready to guide us through our current situation.

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