Dealing With Anger

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

It's no fun being on either side of the anger issue. But there is a way to bring freedom from the sting of showing or receiving anger, and to feel a distinct peace in its place.

The way to replace anger with peace is to see, acknowledge as fact, the presence of God at this moment, in this place.

Jesus Christ taught all the essentials of overcoming anger. He said, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God" (Matt. 5:9). To be blessed means to enjoy "spiritual happiness and the favor of God." And one commentary says that to be peacemakers, as Jesus meant, is to be "founders and promoters of peace." To be "maintainers of peace." Those who make and maintain peace have inner happiness and calm.

These are the mental states that come with the efforts of the individual to make peace - first in one's own heart, and then with others. The good that people are searching for in their lives is embodied in these actions. The expression of spiritual qualities, qualities of God, is fully linked with the peace process in our hearts. The expression of spiritual qualities gives us mastery over the fires of anger.

Rest assured, God brings the freedom of true intelligence to His children - to each of us. When we feel we need more peace to overcome bursts of anger, God gives us this peace. He gives us all good from the infinite stores of His perfection. He governs all that concerns us. He restores good that may seem to have been lost. Relying on God for needed improvement in our lives is practical. It lifts us from the burdens of anger-based insecurity. It stops surges of self-centered frustration.

We can choose to rely on the action of prayer to replace turbulent emotionalism and anger with a calming peace. Prayer helps us know who God is. The more evident His nature is to us, the more we'll feel washed in the peace that accompanies God's directing.

As you pray, you'll find that people around you can't help but feel the calm that prayer brings to a situation. An atmosphere of inspired thinking creates change for good in human experience. It strengthens the entire framework from which decisions are made. It makes them more unselfish, more humane, basing them on broader, clearer perspectives.

God is Love, and in loving all of us as His perfect children He gives us spiritual good that cannot be taken away. Reliance on Him is really reliance on the power of good. When we trust in good during difficult moments, we can expect to quell anger and to find calm and peace established. Circumstances no longer overwhelm us; we rise above them to see the right solutions.

I recall an experience that taught me an important lesson in relying on prayer to reveal the presence and power of God and to heal anger. It happened when I was outside washing my car. Someone came up to me and began shouting in angry tones. At that very moment, something I had read in the book of Psalms that morning came to mind: "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me" (138:8). I took these words to heart. I saw that this fact included even the atmosphere around me. The prayer for perfection is one that God forever fulfills.

Just then, the person doing the shouting became suddenly silent and, turning around, went away.

Whenever I am tempted to get angry, I remember those times when I have felt the freedom and peace and self-control that come from turning to God and that overcome anger. God gives thoughts, thoughts of peace and strength, with which to defend our rights and make whatever moves are necessary to quell all swelling fires of anger.

Make every effort to pray, to turn to God, during moments that might tempt you to be angry. See if the events of your life don't then reflect a calming peace and love. Prayer will bring about whatever needs changing or adjusting. Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper, summed it up this way: "Know, then, that you possess sovereign power to think and act rightly, and that nothing can dispossess you of this heritage and trespass on Love" ("Pulpit and Press," Pg. 3).

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