Anger: Re-pattern Your Mind

"Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind." (Romans 12:2a TEV)

The way we act is determined by the way we feel. The way we feel is determined by the way we think. If we want to change the way we act, we have to change the way we think. If we want to change a habitual pattern of improper anger management — pouting, blowing up, criticizing, etc. — then we need to have some mental reconditioning.

Gary Smalley suggests you ask yourself questions like, “Do I enjoy getting angry?” “Does it produce the intended results when I get angry?” “Could I get the same results in a more effective way?” “How would I be different?”

Smalley suggests you write down your answers in a letter to yourself and read it aloud to yourself once a week for six months, — that’s 26 times. Also, take the time to read it in the presence of another person. That may seem like a lot of work, but how serious are you about changing this habit in your life? How serious are you about getting control of your anger?

I suggest using Bible verses in your letter so that as God’s Word fills your thoughts, you will be transformed by the renewing of your mind. It's going to change you. 

The truth is, angry people are insecure people. The more insecure I am, the more things tick me off. The more insecure I am, the more upset I get and the more irritable I am. 

But here’s the thing: When you understand how much God loves you, your security in Christ, and how much you matter to God, then you are less likely to be irritable.

Talk About It

Read Ephesians 1 and Romans 8. They are anti-anger biblical passages because they teach us how deeply God loves us and that we are secure in him.

 

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


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