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Do you know people who growl when they speak, or bark out orders, or snap at every little thing, or bite people's heads off? These are examples of angr-r-r.

Anger shows up in one's behavior as sarcasm, disrespect, rudeness or cruelty. On the other hand it can manifest itself as smiling while hurting (grin and bear it), constant cheerfulness, being overly-polite, or speaking in a controlled monotone. It is also evident in a person's emotions when he or she gets impatient, upset and crabby over little things.

Anger affects a person's physical and mental well-being. Difficulty sleeping, sleeping more than usual, grinding teeth while sleeping, fatigue, clenched jaws, sore or stiff neck, boredom, apathy, depression, digestive disorders, overeating or loss of appetite, or drug and alcohol abuse may be symptoms of unexpressed anger. Cramming strong feelings into the unconscious mind (perhaps because you think Christians shouldn't get angry), is the cause of behavioral, emotional, physical and mental problems. This is called repressed anger.

God's Word tells us that it is all right to get angry. (Ephesians 4:26). We should get angry at injustice, mistreatment or abuse. But the rest of the verse says, "sin not." Anger should not be taken out on others or be allowed to poison oneself. Here is how to handle anger in appropriate ways:

Confront - When someone or something has made you angry, you need to wait until you cool down to deal with it in a rational manner. Then you need to confront (in a loving way) the person who has treated you badly and tell him or her how you feel. For Example: (Name of person), I felt angry when you (did so and so). (Ephesians 4:15).

If you are the one who hurt someone else because of your anger you need to apologize.

Express - When there are circumstances that prevent you from confronting the other person or dealing with an issue, there are other ways to release your anger. You can get some exercise, do a chore you have been putting off, or punch a pillow to release that negative energy. You can take out a sheet of paper and write out your angry feelings. Or you can confide in a third party. The best way, however, is to talk to the Lord about it. You may even be angry with Him for letting that incident happen to you. You must acknowledge your anger. Tell Him exactly how you feel. Jonah discusses his anger with God in chapter 4. Expressing your anger prevents it from turning on you and shaping your behavior negatively or causing your health to deteriorate.

Forgive - This is a must for your sake. Forgiving means you are canceling the debt. The person does not have to pay you back. God will enable you to forgive when you remember how much He has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32).

Remember these 4 terms when dealing with anger: do not repress, but express it in appropriate ways, confront in a loving manner and above all forgive. This will take the

gr-r-r out of anger.

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