As Gary Chapman concludes Chapter 3 of Anger, he discusses the Christian’s options in response to valid anger. Gary also discusses ways for Christians to take constructive action.
4. Analyze your options. Locating the focus of your anger and quantifying the seriousness of the offense prepares you for this fourth step. Although theoretically many options exist, Dr. Chapman sees only two constructive options for Christians: (a) lovingly confront the offender or (b) consciously decide to overlook the matter.
Given the dynamics of a ministry downsizing or vocation loss, I believe Dr. Chapman’s second option is more desirable. When you consciously decide to overlook the matter you:
- conclude that confronting the person who hurt you holds little or no redemptive value
- release the anger to God and give up the right to take revenge
- refuse to let what happened erode your own sense of well-being
- realize that confrontation would be counterproductive
- gift yourself the freedom to invest your emotional and physical energies in more productive activities
5. Take constructive action. Once you have explored your options and chosen to let the offense go, share your decision with God. In addition, turn your offender over to God. Finally, release your anger to God as well. Do something constructive with your life rather than be enslaved to the destructive effects of anger.
In conclusion, Dr. Chapman encourages you to reflect on and pray about these five steps to resolving valid anger. Traveling the road to making anger more productive equates to time well spent.
Today’s question: At this time, where would you place yourself in Gary’s five-step process? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Definitive and distorted anger”