As we begin confronting things we know we should, we will eventually run into another deadly emotion that has the ability to neutralize our efforts if we aren’t persistant–FEAR. As we learned previously, fear is another cause of chronic anger. Many angry people are actually afraid.
Anger is a natural response to threats of violence, or to physical or verbal abuse. But what happens when you’re afraid and there is no real threat?
For example, Susie is new in town and wants to make friends with some of her co-workers. However, Susie is really afraid of rejection, She tells family members things like, “I know they don’t like me.” At work she imagines that the other workers are intentionally leaving her out. She begins acting resentful towards them. In actuality, Susie’s co-workers would like to get to know her, but she comes across as cold and distant, so they assume she wants to be left alone. Unfortunately for Susie, her behavior is based on the fear of rejection. Her fear has actually caused the thing that she was afraid of–more rejection.
This is just an example of how fear (False Evidence Appearing Real) can distort our perception and cause us to be angry for no real reason. This is the type of unhealthy fear we must work to eliminate from our lives.
The Bible tells us that, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of love, power and a sound mind.” I often remind myself of that fact whenever I am experiencing fear. The emotion of fear is real. And there are some things we should be afraid of such as a wild animal racing toward us or the sound of a criminal trying to break into our house. Our pulse races, our heart beats faster, our palms may sweat and our stomach may turn flips, but none of these physiological symptoms mean that it’s time to run away from the problem.
This heightened sense of awareness should drive us to address the situation and resolve it. Whether it’s picking up a weapon to fight off a ferocious animal, protecting our family or taking the chance to start a conversation with a stranger, we shouldn’t let fear stop us from action. So how can we move forward when everything in us is telling us we can’t?
Believe in the power of God more than your own strength.
As believers, we have access to the Holy Spirit, who resides in us to comfort us and to give us the power we need to accomplish God’s will. It is not God’s will for us to be afraid. Listen to some good advice the Apostle Paul gave to Timothy, a young Christian and associate . . .
” . . . I want to remind you to stir into flame the strength and boldness that is in you, that entered into you when I laid my hands upon your head and blessed you. For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift does not want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them. If you will stir up this inner power, you will never be afraid to tell others about our Lord, or to let them know that I am your friend even though I am here in jail for Christ’s sake. You will be ready to suffer with me for the Lord, for He will give you strength in suffering.” (2 Timothy 1:6-8, New Living Translation)
In the passage above, Paul reminds Timothy that God will give us the power to be bold even in the face of persecution or suffering. Although no one looks forward to suffering, it’s good to know that even if doing the right thing causes adversity, we can handle it with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Anger Eliminator #3: Access the power of the Holy Spirit to defeat fear.
Congratulations friend! You have completed the study on developing an anger free attitude. Now, let’s seal it with a prayer of faith.
Thank you for helping me to identify the sources of anger in my life and giving me the strength to change. Help me to put into action everything I have learned and give me the wisdom I need to solve problems in a positive way. Lord I commit my attitude into your hands and I will obey the leadership of the Holy Spirit in my day-to-day interactions with others. Thank you for helping me to maintain my new anger free attitude in Jesus’ name, Amen.