Controlling Anger

There is a person in my life that I must be around daily.  He is not an easy person to be around.  Some days there is peace and a certain camaraderie.  Other days there is a sense of walking on egg shells, trying not to take offense.  And then there are the days that everything goes south, so to speak, meaning there is no avoiding the explosions.

One of those occasions came up three days ago when he got in a dispute with my grandson.  I had to intervene because he carries a handgun.  Yes, he has a license for it, but everyone steers clear of him when he is in one of his moods.  It was a stupid argument, not about anything important, but a turf battle.  “I want what I want, and you are going to give it to me!”

He worked himself up so much he had heart problems, and had to take a nitro.

I tried to calm him down.  “It’s no big thing.  You are creating a tempest in a teapot by telling yourself negative things.  Let it go.  Relationships are more important than things.”

But he wouldn’t let it go.  A day later he looked terrible, with his body looking stiff with bitterness, anger, and vengeance.  No one loved him.  We were all using him for what we could get.

I spent time telling him that we aren’t perfect but we still loved each other as a family, and stood by one another.  That is what makes our family special, in my opinion.

A day later and he was still sulking.  Now, I was starting to get angry.  It was wrong of him not to discipline himself when every disgusting sin came into his mind.  He is a Christian, and Christians catch those impulses and cast them away.  Why couldn’t he?  Did it feel so good to vent that he wouldn’t make the effort?  I felt trapped.

I was so angry I could hardly look at him. I started praying, “Lord help me through these angry emotions.”  I remained silent about my feelings, and waited for them to pass.

Then a strange thing happened. In a brief flash, even less than a brief flash, I saw how Jesus loved him.  Felt it, really.  That unconditional love,  and comfort came to me.  If Jesus could do it, it was possible for me to do the same.