Chapter 3 – Anger and Bitterness – Philippians 4:13
Philippians 4:13 tells us “We can do all things through He (Jesus Christ) who strengthens us. When it comes to anger and bitterness we can use all the help we can get. Don’t go it alone. Own it, admit it, ask for God’s help and nail it to the cross!
We come out of shock and denial, or maybe we are unable to come out of shock and denial, and now we are angry. Who are you and I angry at? Our spouse, God, the other person? Everyone maybe. We are in a rage and angry at everyone or maybe we are angry at no one except ourselves. Maybe we feel guilty as well. I will save guilt for the next chapter so let’s focus on anger. Is anger ever a good thing? Maybe it sometimes can be if we can use it for good. Go back to my Romans 8:28 reference. Even Jesus became angry. We know he did because Scripture tells us He did when he overthrew the money changers tables in the Temple and he made a chord to use as a whip to drive them out. Jesus said, “do not use My house as a den of thieves”. It also says, “zeal for my house has consumed me”.
So, zeal for my house or my marriage has consumed me. How do we handle this anger? You may need to get professional help and that is OK? If you are diagnosed with any kind of mental illness or depression and advised to take medication than follow doctor’s orders. If you prefer to meet with a psychiatrist or psychologist who is a faith-based than by all means do, however, even if you have strong faith, it is not necessary or mandatory.
I would however, strongly recommend finding a spiritual adviser to meet with ongoing and it may be best not to meet with a priest friend or religious who you are too friendly with or who knows your spouse as well. Spiritual guidance may be best to come from a religious who is grounded and trained in the area of spiritual guidance. It may be best to find your closest retreat house and go to one of the religious at the center who specifically are spiritual directors. Go on a retreat as well. There is nothing better in my opinion than going on retreat. Turn off your phone and all electronic devices and be quiet and still for days! “Be still and know that I am God!”
Retreats are very cleansing in so many ways and slow us down. Retreats slow our minds down, retreats take the focus off our anger and enable us to connect with God’s love.
Anger is real and has to be managed. Proper diet and exercise help our bodies and minds function properly and help reduce stress and anger as well.
Enjoy Friends at this time. Find new friends too, but focus on the friendship and the activity and live in the moment! Try not to dwell on the past or worry about the future. Don’t worry about if a new friend likes you or you like them, just enjoy the time spent together and do not put burdensome expectations on yourself or the other person. Meet with friends in a group as well.
Anger is a very difficult stage and anger will subside over time, however, it will always rear it’s ugly head so when feeling anger well up it may be best to leave or walk away from whoever or whatever is making you angry at the time and pray! Pray whatever prayer pops into your head, but maybe be better to have a prayer plan, like the Rosary. Pray also for the other person or party making you angry at the time. Focus on your breathing as well. Your breath is the breath of God in you and is very calming.
It is Ok to be angry and feel angry, just don’t dwell on it or let it consume you. Do whatever you have to so as to take your thoughts off the anger.
Memorizing favorite scripture quotes and calling them to mind when angry also help.
Reward yourself when you overcome or defuse anger. It is a great victory over self, Positive thoughts, Healthy thoughts, Constructive thoughts and actions is always best for you, your children if you have children and your ex spouse or other party involved.