I told yall about how I didn’t go to church last week. Well this week I went and It was a good message. It was about anger and forgiveness. As I listened and took notes I knew this would be an #EpicTale on the blog because I know we need to release anger to Chase Joy. We are currently doing a series called the Struggle where we focus on guarding our hearts against things we all struggle with. So far we have covered jealousy and now anger.
One of the things I like about my church is that in addition to the scriptures and spiritual stuff they also give you practical advice on how to do things. Just like I did when the message was about how to make good decisions, I wrote down all of the practical steps to release anger. I wrote them down because I don’t ever want to be an angry person. I notice that since my mom died my fuse is a lot shorter. I guess grief can make a person more sensitive in general. I need to guard my heart and release anger before it grows into resentment. I need to release anger to have better relationships. I need to release anger to Chase Joy.
Before I share the four steps here are a few things you should know. This is not some kind of magic. You will not automatically feel different or less angry when you do these steps. The steps are to help you make a real decision to let go of anger and to forgive. Don’t let your feelings be the litmus test of if you have successfully forgiven or not. Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is an act of will. It is a decision to not dwell, seek revenge, or hold on to the negative feelings. The change in your emotions and actually feeling less angry should come overtime and with the help of prayer.
OK, so here are the four steps to release anger to Chase Joy:
1. Identify whom you are angry with. Make a list. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself adding your own name to your list. Most of us need to forgive ourselves for some stuff too.
2. Write down what you think the person owes you. What would they have to give or return to you to make it all right.
3. Cancel the debt. This is a decision you make in your heart. You don’t have to tell the person this is between you and God. Burn or bury the list.
4. Dismiss the case. Don’t bring it up again, not with the person or anyone else. Recommit to dismissing the case every time every time any negative thoughts return and pray.
If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook than you saw that I burned my list yesterday. The most interesting thing that I discovered in writing out my list is that the what I felt I was owed came down to seven different things. Yes I had more than seven people on my list, don’t judge me 🙂 The seven things were when I was made to lose trust, causing a relationship to be strained, making me stressed, not providing support, making me feel unsafe, causing me to lose confidence, and causing me to not feel valued. While the specific actions that made me angry were varied what I felt was loss or damaged fell into one of those categories.
So, what do you think? Does this all seem crazy and unnecessary or will you give it a try? Are you holding on to anger that you need to let go up in smoke? Do you need to release anger to Chase Joy? Don’t let anger be a joy thief.