How to Handle Your Emotions (Counseling Through the Bible Series) (9 page)

BOOK: How to Handle Your Emotions (Counseling Through the Bible Series)
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Example: I felt a deep sense of rejection.

Face the
anger
that is still in your heart because of the
hurts
you experienced in childhood:

 


Ask God to reveal buried
hurts
from your childhood.


Ask family members and close friends to notice what situations seem to hurt you and make you angry.

 


Acknowledge that your prolonged, unresolved anger over past hurts is wrong, even if you think it is justified.


Take personal responsibility to overcome your childhood
hurts.


Surrender your hurtful childhood experiences and feelings to God.


Forgive and pray for those who have hurt you.

 


Ask forgiveness from those whom you have hurt or offended.


Pray for God to purge you of your hurtful ways and fill you with His unconditional love for others.

If your heart yearns for love and acceptance, remember…


Psalm 66:20: “Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!”


Psalm 32:10: “Many are the woes of the wicked, but the L
ORD’S
unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.”


Psalm 36:7: “How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.”


1 John 4:9-10: “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

Resolving Childhood Injustices

The next time you feel the surge of anger over a particular situation, ask yourself:


“Am I feeling a sense of injustice?”

Example: My close friend was mistreated and ignored.


“Did I ever have these same feelings in my childhood?”

Example: When my parents favored my siblings and ignored me, I felt their treatment was unjust.


“How did I feel when my parents treated me this way?”

Example: I felt angry toward my parents and concluded that life is not fair.

Face your anger from the past and begin to see how your present anger is connected to the injustices you experienced in childhood:

 


Ask God to reveal all unresolved feelings over the injustices you experienced as a child.


Ask your close family members and friends how they know when you are angry over an injustice.

 


Acknowledge that your feelings of injustice may be directed at God.


Take personal responsibility for your feelings of anger at injustice.

 


Release your anger over past injustices to God and replace the anger with God’s peace.


Ask forgiveness from anyone you have treated unjustly.

 


Forgive and pray for those who have been unjust toward you.


Meditate on how God can use, for good, your awareness of injustices committed against you and others.

If your anger is rooted in unjust treatment, and you are committed to justice, remember…


Psalm 9:16: “The L
ORD
is known by his justice.”


Luke 18:7: “Will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?”


2 Thessalonians 1:6-7: “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well.”


Psalm 37:6: “He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

Resolving Childhood Fears

The next time you feel threatened or get angry over an unwanted, uncomfortable change in circumstances, ask yourself:


“Am I feeling fear about my future?”

Example: I’ve lost my job, and I don’t know how I will support my family.


“Did I have these same feelings in my childhood?”

Example: When my parents died and I was sent to be raised by my grandmother, I felt fear.


“How did I feel about not being raised by my parents?”

Example: I felt angry because everybody else had a mother and father to protect them and to provide for their future.

Face your anger at God for taking your parents and leaving you with the
fear
of an uncertain future, and any other fears you experienced in childhood:

 


If you have difficulty recalling your childhood feelings of fear, ask God to bring those memories to your mind.


Ask your current family and good friends what they notice when you express distress or feelings of insecurity as a result of fear.

 


Be completely honest with yourself and ask God to reveal where your fears and securities lie:

—Is it in your financial situation?

 

—Is it in your close family ties?

—Is it in your education?

 

—Is it in your accomplishments?

—Is it in what others say about you?

 


Acknowledge that placing your trust in anything other than God produces anger at Him when your security idols fail and you experience fear.


Ask God’s forgiveness for your failure to trust Him.

 


Learn to place your trust in the Lord alone for your security.


Memorize scriptures that reassure you of God’s faithfulness.

 


Begin developing a grateful heart for all that the Lord has provided, and thank Him daily for His generous gifts.

If your heart yearns for security, and you desire to rid yourself of fear, remember…


Psalm 112:7-8: “He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the L
ORD
. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.”


Isaiah 41:10: “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be
dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.”


Proverbs 3:26: “The L
ORD
will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.”


Romans 8:15: “You did not receive a spirit that makes you a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.”

Resolving Childhood Frustration

The next time you feel anger when your personal efforts are stymied or not accepted by others, ask yourself…


“Am I feeling frustrated?”

Example: My associate made negative remarks about my speech at our business luncheon.


“Did I ever have these same feelings in my childhood?”

Example: When my parents expected me to behave perfectly and not express my true feelings, I felt frustrated.


“How did I
feel
when my parents had these expectations?”

Example: I felt that I was not accepted by my parents because my performance was not always acceptable.

Face your past frustrations from childhood and realize that not measuring up to your own or someone else’s standards indicates performance-based acceptance and can be a major source of anger.

 


Ask God to reveal the buried anger you have toward your parents or others in your past who frustrated you by accepting you solely on the basis of your performance.


Ask yourself:

 

—Do I set unrealistic standards for myself?

—Do I tend to stuff my anger?

 

—Do I need to control people and circumstances?

—Am I a caretaker?

 

—Am I a perfectionist?

—Am I a procrastinator?

 

—Am I a people pleaser?

—Am I a workaholic?

 


Ask your family and close friends how they know when you are frustrated.


Understand frustration is only a nice-sounding word for the anger that deeply damages your self-worth and sense of significance.

 


Understand it takes concentrated commitment and great effort to uncover deeply buried frustrations and root them out of your life.


Realize you can never earn God’s love, but that He loves you unconditionally.

 


Allow yourself to feel your anger at being frustrated and ask God for courage to express your anger in acceptable ways.


Forgive those who frustrated you in the past and release your anger to God and claim the sufficiency of His love to affirm your value.

If you feel a sense of
frustration
with life and long to feel accepted and significant, remember…


Proverbs 21:3: “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the L
ORD
than sacrifice.”


Galatians 1:10: “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”


Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”


Lamentations 3:22-23: “Because of the L
ORD’S
great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

H. Know the Quick Answer to Anger

The possibility that you will feel angry remains ever present. A spark of irritation can be ignited intentionally by hurtful people or unintentionally
by those who love you. God intends that you seek His answer for anger quickly, before it singes your heart and burns the bridges of your relationships.

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”

(1 P
ETER
5:8).

BOOK: How to Handle Your Emotions (Counseling Through the Bible Series)
2.24Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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