The lies we believe can make us mad. We can take a lie and accept it as the truth. Usually this lie contains part of the truth, but has been distorted in some way.
For example, Pastor Steve has had some negative experiences being judged by people in the church in the past. As a result, he has decided never to share openly and vulnerably again with anyone in his congregation. His belief is: “If I am to avoid being hurt and judged, I need to project an image of perfection within my congregation.”
Steve’s beliefs have some truth in them: you can get hurt by sharing openly. But he has stretched that truth to the extreme and now feels angry much of the time. Talk about expectations that are impossible to meet!
What lies do you believe? Take some time to pray and journal over the possibilities. Here are a few common lies that, if believed, lead to major difficulty with managing anger:
- Lie #1: Other people and circumstances control me. (Genesis 2:15-17)
- Lie #2. I have felt rejection so much in the past that I can’t try again. (2 Timothy 1:7)
- Lie #3. God should have stopped my problems. (Jeremiah 29:11-12)
- Lie #4. Letting go of my anger means I am admitting defeat. (Hebrews 10:30)
- Lie #5. No one understands my problems. (Galatians 6:2)
- Lie #6. I don’t deserve to be happy. (John 10:10)
- Lie #7. There is nothing to look forward to anymore. (Philippians 3:13-14)
Search the scriptures to find the corresponding truth to each of these lies. Memorize the scripture that applies best to the lies you believe. When you begin to feel anger coming on, ask yourself, “What is the truth about me? What does God say about me?”
This blog entry is part of a series of thoughts on anger management, based on a class I teach to residents of the Salvation Army based on The Anger Management Workbook. The thoughts are equally applicable to ministry leaders. If you are reading this series after it has come out on this blog, you can pull up all of the entries at once by doing a search for anger management in the search box within the blog.
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