Put boundaries around your chaotic feelings

By Dave Henning / September 18, 2018

“Anger can feel chaotic, and so can other emotions.  The task is to let God help you put boundaries around your chaotic feelings. . . .  But just as God contained chaos ‘in the beginning,’ with his help you can grow to love the most difficult parts of yourself and find that ‘the boundary lines [fall] . . . in pleasant places’ (Psalm 16:6).”- Alison Cook and Kimberly Miller

Alison Cook and Kimberly Miler conclude Chapter 9 of Boundaries for Your Soul as they discuss the need to identify the target of your anger.  Thus, your direct your anger toward others, yourself, and God.

1.  Anger toward others: passive and aggressive parts.  When anger overtakes you, you may adopt and aggressive stance, taking justice into your own hands.  However, you also may take a passive stance, failing to advocate for yourself.  As a result, you fail to honor yourself as a person made in God’s image.  Therefore, the path to meaningful relationships and abundant living involves:

  • pausing when you want to fight or take flight
  • honoring the part of you that’s angry
  • offering anger the time and space it needs to gain perspective
  • praying for that part of yourself

2.  Anger toward self: the inner critic.  Your inner critic drags you down. It’s an inner voice saying things to you that you wouldn’t say to your worst enemy.  Yet, your inner critic desires to protect you.  Thus, it’s good intention involves trying to help you do your best.  But, with a limited strategy, it keeps you from the compassionate presence of your Spirit-led self.

3.  Anger toward God: resentful parts.  As Alison and Kim state:

“You tell yourself that God is good all the time, that he means well for you, and that he’s working things out for your good.  But a part of you doesn’t buy it and has made up it’s own story: Why bother praying?  God doesn’t care.  Does he enjoy watching me suffer?  A part of you may be carrying belief burdens like these.  If so, you may rebel against God or descend into self-pity” (emphasis authors’)

In conclusion, when anger finds its God-given role, it effects positive change in your soul.

Today’s question: What Scriptures help you contain your chaotic feelings? Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Keep your small, fearful self close”

About the author

Dave Henning

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