Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Can controlling anger bring forgiveness?

Controlling your anger is a choice you make. Forgiving others is also a choice you make. A life of unforgiveness and bitterness is a life of loneliness and pain. We desire to be accepted, loved, and forgiven regardless of whether we are the perpetrator or the target of uncontrolled anger. Forgiveness is a process. Healing begins with giving forgiveness, and success depends on our honesty and determined willingness. Though difficult, be willing to take the first step.

Steps to controlling anger and bringing forgiveness:

  • Make a commitment to change your behavior and attitude. Daily, or even hourly, focus your thoughts and prayers on yearning to change. Don't be a victim of "That's just the way I am" or "That's the way I've always done it."
  • You can only control yourself -- Alter your expectations of others! Work on being patient. You are not responsible for the actions and words of others; only your own.
  • Examine the offense impartially and determine the appropriate source of your anger. Prevent your anger and frustration from landing on the wrong target! Respond appropriately to the source of anger or walk away to avoid a conflict.
  • Let go of past grudges. Don’t let your anger at the past spill over to the present. Holding onto prior offenses and pain only compounds the problem. We can handle each incident calmly and with patience when we realize it is God’s prerogative to deal with the hearts of others. But He can deal with our heart and renew it if we allow Him.

If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. If you give, you will receive. Experiencing and enjoying love and forgiveness for us makes us willing to love and forgive others. We become willing to pass on the grace of God that we have received. Grace is ‘undeserved forgiveness.’ It has nothing to do with us deserving or earning it. It is given in spite of ourselves. We don’t need to fear because God never rejects us when we ask forgiveness.

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