Anger: Relate to people who are patient
By Rick Warren
— September 11, 2009
“Don't hang out with angry people; don't keep company with hotheads. Bad temper is contagious—don't get infected” (Proverbs 22:24-25 MSG).
Is anger contagious? Yes. Can you be infected by somebody else's anger? Certainly. Ever been in a situation where they get loud and you do too? What's happening? There's a transfer of energy. It's contagious.
If you are serious about changing an imbedded, habitual lifestyle of inappropriate anger management, then you need to start hanging out with other people who know how to manage their anger. That's one of the benefits of a church. That's why I believe in joining a church family and getting involved in a small group. You pick up positive values.
The methods we use to express our anger are learned. Since they’re learned, they can be unlearned. Parents, every time I blow up and lose my cool, I'm modeling inappropriate anger to my kids. They're learning and you're teaching.
James Dobson says, “Successful marriages are not those marriages where anger or conflicts do not exist. But rather, successful marriages are where they've learned to manage their anger. When anger is managed, it produces great marriages." I'd like to add this: When anger is managed, it also produces great friendships and churches and businesses. It produces great leaders because it channels the emotional energy of anger into a focus that will potentially produce tremendous good.
“Dear God, I resolve to manage my anger. Today, with your help, I'm going to take control of my temper. I've fallen in the past, but today I make a new commitment, a new start. Help me to realize the cost of my anger: that it causes arguments and mistakes, that it causes me to do foolish things and get into all kinds of trouble. When I lose my temper, I always lose.
“Father, help me to reflect before reacting, to have wisdom and ask myself, `Why am I angry? What do I really want? How can I get it?' Help me to see the causes beneath my anger. Help me to release my anger appropriately, no longer expressing it through violence, shouting, pouting or just being quiet and holding it in as a grudge. Help me to admit it, confess it to you, myself, and others.
“Help me to re-pattern my mind, to spend daily time with you in your word, have a daily quiet time where my mind can be slowly transformed to think the thoughts that are correct and bring the behavior that I want. Help me to relate to people who have learned or are learning to manage their anger. I pray this is Jesus’ name, knowing you are listening and answering. Amen.”