Sometimes God works in mysterious ways.
Last week two things happened. First I decided it would be the week I focused on “Angry” as part of the H.A.L.T. focus.
Secondly, I gave major praises to God for how He was working in me and my family’s lives, how He was also opening doors for a “dream” of mine I never thought was possible, and on and on.
Of course you know what that means.
“KA – BOOM!”
Last week I was confronted with “Angry” – a lot.
Both on the receiving and the giving side. I’m going to be real with you – Angry sucks.
The reality is, all the times I got angry this last week, not once did it save a life.
It wasn’t the kind of adrenaline pushing anger that enabled me to fight off a home intruder to protect myself, or to lift a car off a baby.
No, it was wasteful. If I’m brutally honest, 99.99% of the time my anger is waste. Why?
- It doesn’t produce the results I want.
- It leaves me literally in pain, or stressed, or anxious.
- It often drags out the problem or causes additional problems.
- It makes me want to eat.
We know by now I’m an “emo-eater”. Anger leads to depression which leads to wanting to eat junk. (Seriously. I’ve never, in my entire life, wanted to emo-eat salad, fruit, or lean proteins. Smother me something in some cheese, fry it, and serve it with dipping sauces. That’s my emo-eat.)
Guess what, being an angry person also has some real physical health risks:
The constant flood of stress chemicals and associated metabolic changes that go with recurrent unmanaged anger can
eventually cause harm to many different systems of the body.
Some of the short and long-term health problems that have been linked to unmanaged anger include:
– digestion problems, such as abdominal pain
– increased anxiety
– high blood pressure
– skin problems, such as eczema
– heart attack
Yikes. Couple that with my emo-eating and behold = Health Problems.
Then there is of course my testimony. Anger is one of those things that can blow a testimony right out of the water. Maybe it’s why there are so many verses in God’s Word that warn us about anger.
“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control”
“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.”
“But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”
Yea. Being an angry person = Spiritual Problems.
I’m re-reading Made To Crave, and as I was reading Chapter 1 a few days ago, the Lord really laid some things on my heart.
On page 23 in the book, Lysa TerKeurst talks about how Eve was deceived in the garden because she was saturated in keeping her eyes on the forbidden fruit instead of on God. She then shares all the things that Eve didn’t do which ultimately led to her giving into temptation. As I read through it, I realized it was also a list for dealing with anger.
- Walk away, give myself time to really consider my choice to be angry.
- Consult with a fellow believer where appropriate, someone who is removed from the situation and can help guide to Truth.
- Get TRUTH, God’s instruction in His Word.
- Talk to God. Stop and Pray about the situation before giving into my anger. Rely on the Holy Spirit to help me.
For my spiritual heart health, the steps above are a good starting place. The truth is, every situation that comes up that I can get angry about is also a situation God can use to refine me. It just requires I keep looking to Him and asking Him to change my heart, because that’s what I ultimately need, a heart changed to look less like me and more like Jesus every day.
Secondly for my physical health, I need to exercise. Cardio. Moving.
Another fact is the more stressed a person is, the more angry the person becomes. Our world has shifted away from field work to office work. I’ll be honest, if I’m not intentional, I can go an entire day not moving very much. Sure, I might get up and do dishes, pick up the house, however, really MOVE? I can easily miss it.
Another face: Exercise reduces stress. God has designed the body in such a spectacular way that upon exercising, the body will actually release chemicals called endorphins that will literally make you “feel good”. They also reduce your perception of pain which leads to lowering your stress and anxiety levels. God has literally created our bodies with it’s own programmed “reward” for exercising. And I for one have had months where I have taken this precious, wonderful gift, completely for granted.
So when it comes to Angry – I must be walking with God and keeping my eyes on Him. The more my eyes are on Him and His Truths, I think the less “angry” I’ll be. Or, when anger does come knocking, get my focus on Him quickly so I don’t go down roads that lead to foolishness. Also, I must exercise REGULARLY. Not sporadically. Not ridiculously either. I know what regular exercise looks like for my body. I need to be realistic, and I need to MOVE regularly, recognizing that it’s not a chore, it’s a gift.
How about you, do you find yourself at times struggling with anger? Do you exercise regularly? What can you do to HALT angry in your wellness journey? Feel free to link up this week here or if your part of our Women’s Facebook group, join in the conversation there.