Slow down, get rest, manage expectations to avoid unneeded anger

Have you noticed how easy it is to become angry when you are tired or hungry?

Sometimes, the best prescription for overcoming anger is a nap and a snack.

One of the reasons why people are often so angry is they are just too busy. People are running themselves into the ground. The busyness of life, the hectic pace that we keep is what’s creating so much of this anxiety and stress that leads to so much anger.

Breaking the pattern of anger in your life may require getting some rest. You may need to take some time off. Take a break. Acknowledge that you are tired.

A quick temper may be a warning light that is trying to tell you that something has to change in the way of your pace. You may have to slow down or stop altogether.

The most important way to increase your patience and avoid being so quick to anger is to change your expectations. Anger often comes from unmet expectations.

Proverbs 4:23 says it like this: “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” (NCV) Have you ever thought about that? Your thinking will eventually run your life. Your thinking can actually ruin your life.

We all have expectations of what’s going to happen in life. When those expectations don’t match reality, we often respond in anger.

This reality is probably the most evident on the highway. When other drivers don’t drive like you expect them to drive, you become angry. Your expectations were unmet.

Think about how this plays out in your life. Anger typically comes when our expectations don’t match reality.

What if you were to try to manage your expectations?

Things won’t always go your way or meet your expectations. Irritating people are still going to be irritating people.

But that doesn’t mean your day or your life is ruined. Thomas à Kempis once said, “Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.” Guard your expectations.

Some people get angry because God put thorns among the roses. Others choose to praise him for putting roses among the thorns. What’s it going to be for you? Look for the roses among the thorns.

With God’s help, you can break the pattern of anger. Surround yourself with people who encourage patience rather than anger.

Release your worries to God. Be aware of the need to slow down and get some rest. And be careful to manage your expectations.

You can read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at steve@gotothepoint.com.