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Posts tagged ‘self-control’

Asking Forgiveness From My Kids … Again

SOURCE: FamilyLife Ministries

My kids need to grow up with the knowledge that I require a Savior just as much as they do.

I yelled at my kids tonight.

It started before the mouthwash spilled all over the floor, my jeans, and my new shirt.

That I have an issue with anger and emotional control is not something I’ve kept secret. But it’s still painfully destructive in my own home: “The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down” (Proverbs 14:1).

So when my blood pressure had returned to an appropriate range and I determined the mouthwash only minimally soaked my front, I called all of my kids to our little loveseat. Some of them crawled out of bed. They piled around me like puppies. And I took the time—again, like I have to do so often—to apologize to them and ask for forgiveness.

Then, I led us in praying and repenting to God. It was duly needed for all of us.

I thanked my kids for forgiving me—also not so bad a quality to practice—and ended with tickling them into screaming laughter.

As I backed out of their room in the dark later, I yowled in pain after stepping on an electrical plug someone had left in the doorway. My second son was quick on the draw: “Still love me?” He collapsed in giggles.

None of this, I’m afraid, undoes what I did.

I wish I could take away my eruptive lack of self-control, or the way I morphed instantly into a drill sergeant. I wish I could subtract what I modeled for my kids. But what still remained in my power were two words: “I’m sorry.”

Their sin doesn’t justify mine

A family that practices repentance keep short accounts with each other, apologizing quickly and sincerely. The point of apologizing to my kids even when they’re in trouble isn’t at all to detract them from their sin. They need to grow up with my willing confession as the norm, to give them the knowledge that Mom requires a Savior as much as they do. An awareness of the log in my eye—even when my children or spouse are the offenders—is biblically commanded (Matthew 7:1-5).

So take it a step further, even, than those two critical words. Deliberately ask for forgiveness, and then humbly and verbally extend forgiveness: “I want you to know that I completely forgive you, and that I believe God forgives you, too.”

I guess it can sound a little hokey when we’re not used to using such language in our homes, but that’s my point. Should it be?

Call me an idealist, but I’d like this replication of Christ’s words to become the norm, a chance to apply the gospel to myself and to my loved ones daily.

Anger: Unmet Expectations

SOURCE:  Annie Chapman/Focus on the Family

As I was leaving for a four-day trip with my teen daughter and her friend, my husband, Steve, agreed to have the house in good shape when I returned, because we’d be having company on the weekend.

The trip with the girls was fun, but by the time I got home, my nerves were stretched, and I was ready for a break. As I walked into our kitchen, I struggled to process the sight and the odor. There was a stack of unwashed dishes, fish guts in the sink and the floor was sticky with some sort of marine-life slime.

Steve walked into the room. “You’re back earlier than I expected. I went fishing this morning and thought I’d have time to clean up before you got home. Then the mower needed some work, and I reckon I got sidetracked.”

Steve and I have been married for 38 years, and although I can’t say I respond correctly each time I’m angry, that particular day I chose to face the reason for my anger — my expectations had not been met.

James 4:1-2 reads, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it.” It’s a pretty simple explanation.

I asked Steve to give me some space — alone — instead of giving him an immediate verbal lashing, and put on latex gloves to start the restoration process. While cleaning, I did a few things that helped me deal with my anger before the razor-sharp words finished forming on my tongue.

First, I avoided talking to myself about the situation.

I have a friend who says that when she gets angry with her husband, she takes a walk and talks to herself about it. While that may work for her, it doesn’t work for me. The one time I tried the “walk and talk” idea, all I did was practice throwing verbal spears at Steve.

Then, instead of ranting to myself about Steve’s fish-gut gaffe, I talked to God about it.

James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” I’ve learned that when I humble myself before God and respectfully talk to Him about a matter, He really does give me grace. It’s a grace that prevents a small gust of anger from turning into a destructive tornado of emotion.

After I talked to God, I was better prepared to talk to my husband.

Talking humbly, yet frankly with God about my anger, seemed to put me in a more civil state of mind. As a result, I was able to respectfully and candidly talk to Steve.

By recognizing that not getting what I wanted was the true source of my anger, I created an environment in my marriage that allowed Steve to apologize without the fear of getting lambasted — and I was in a better place to accept his apology.

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Annie Chapman is a musician, speaker and author of several books, including Letting Go of Anger.

7 Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Angry

SOURCE:  Bob McCully/Thriveworks

Everyone gets angry, but some of us get angry more often and with greater intensity than most people. If you’re one of those people, here are some questions to ask yourself that might lead to less anger.

Am I truly understanding the other person?

Perhaps you misunderstood. Maybe you assumed inaccurately that he or she intended to hurt you with their comment. Maybe you really got angry because her posture reminded you of that teacher years ago who used to berate you. Stop and think.

Are my expectations reasonable?

Larry grew up in a household where his Mom was a full-time housewife. She cleaned every day and expected him to help. Now his wife works full-time and they have a 2-year-old son. He gets angry at her when anything is out of place. Is he being reasonable? Sarah expected her adult daughter to call her every day. Is that realistic? Examine your expectations, and change them, if appropriate.

Am I angry at the right person?

Stress can build up from a hundred little annoyances during the day. You’re angry at your boss, but you can’t express it or you’ll lose your job. The weather is cloudy and cold; the traffic is slow and irritating on the way home. Then when your son leaves his bicycle in the driveway, you blow up. Breathe deeply. Focus on the present moment.

Is my anger getting me what I want?

Alex spent much of his time at home yelling at his wife and his children. What he wanted was a cooperative family. What he was getting was a distant relationship with everyone. His wife was contemplating divorce. His children resented him and never talked to him for fear that he would start yelling. If anger is not working, try calm dialogue.

Is my anger out of proportion to the offense?

Teresa had a way of making mountains out of molehills. Every little inconvenience was a great catastrophe that she complained angrily about to her friends. Her friends learned to tune her out or avoid her. For this kind of anger, the deeper question is, are you going to spend your life angry because the world does not conform to your needs, or are you going to accept the fact that real life circumstances are often inconvenient and sometimes difficult? Accept life as it is.

How are they feeling?

That is, how are the objects of your wrath feeling? Are your children feeling oppressed and unloved? Is your employee feeling hopeless and frustrated? Is your spouse feeling irritated and resentful? Empathy can make us stop in our tracks and try a different strategy.

Can I really change this situation?

You are only one person in a great big world. You have some power, but it is limited. You may be wasting your energy being angry. Twelve step groups use this helpful prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to tell the difference.” Practice wisdom, not anger.

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Bob McCully is a licensed professional counselor with Thriveworks Counseling Charlotte.

Emotions: Who’s In Charge Of Yours?

SOURCE:  New Life Ministries

Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. – 2 Peter 1:6

Who is in charge of your emotions?

Is it you, or have you formed the unfortunate habit of letting other people—or troubling situations—determine the quality of your thoughts and the direction of your day? If you’re wise—and if you’d like to build a better life for yourself and your loved ones—you’ll learn to control your emotions before your emotions control you.

Human emotions are highly variable, decidedly unpredictable, and often unreliable. Our emotions are like the weather, only far more fickle. So we must learn to live by faith, not by the ups and downs of our own emotional roller coasters.

Remember: Your life shouldn’t be ruled by your emotions—your life should be ruled by God. So if you think you’ve lost control over your emotions, don’t make big decisions, don’t strike out against anybody, and don’t speak out in anger. Count to ten (or more) and take a “time out” from your situation until you calm down.

– Steve Arterburn

Sometime during this day, you will probably be gripped by a strong negative feeling. Distrust it. Reign it in. Test it. And turn it over to God. Your emotions will inevitably change; God will not. So trust Him completely as you watch those negative feelings slowly evaporate into thin air—which, of course, they will. Our feelings do not affect God’s facts.Amy Carmichael

Don’t bother much about your feelings. When they are humble, loving, brave, give thanks for them; when they are conceited, selfish, cowardly, ask to have them altered. In neither case are they you, but only a thing that happens to you. What matters is your intentions and your behavior. – C. S. Lewis

The spiritual life is a life beyond moods. It is a life in which we choose joy and do not allow ourselves to become victims of passing feelings of happiness or depression. – Henri Nouwen

Infidelity’s Warning Signs

SOURCE:  Family Life Ministry/Nancy C. Anderson

Be on guard for your spouse … and yourself.

Kate found out her husband was having an affair the same week he asked her for a divorce—she didn’t see it coming. She told me, “My ‘gut’ was telling me that things weren’t quite right, but Bob had convinced me I that was just paranoid and insecure. I had no idea he was such a good liar. He talked me out of my suspicions.”

I asked her, “Could you make a list of his unusual behaviors? New actions that weren’t necessarily bad—just odd. But now, looking back, you see them as signs that he was having an affair.” Here is Kate’s top-ten list:

  1. About six months ago, he started working longer hours and having more “client dinners.”
  2. When he was home, he would seem restless and often claim he had “work” to do, so he spent a lot of time in the den—with the door closed.
  3. He started some new patterns that I thought were wonderful. He took the dog for long walks, and offered to run errands for me in the evenings. If I commented that I wished I had some cookies for the kids’ lunches, he’d say, “I’ll be happy to go to the store for you.” I found out later that he’d call his mistress on his cell phone while he was walking or running errands.
  4. He gave me a goofy, silly card for my birthday instead of his usual romantic, sentimental one, and he only signed his name—not Love, Bob.
  5. Our sex life lost its sizzle. On the rare occasions when we did make love, it felt awkwardly cold—just a physical act, not an emotional connection. I think he may have felt as if he was being unfaithful to his girlfriend by sleeping with me.
  6. He started referring to a person at work named Pierce. He would tell me how funny and talented Pierce was. That was his mistress’s last name!
  7. He started to skip desserts and be very careful about what he ate—he lost weight and started exercising.
  8. He dyed his hair—to cover the gray. “She” is twelve years younger than he is.
  9. He seemed more short-tempered. Things that didn’t usually bother him suddenly did. He was especially impatient with the children.
  10. After I saw the way he reacted to “her” at a company party, I asked him if there was something between them, and he lied to my face. Looking back, I know he lied to me about credit card and cell phone bills, and that most of the new clients he’d been taking to dinner were not clients at all.

Kate summed it all up: “I wish I’d been more alert. I just didn’t put all the pieces together until it was too late.”

When Secret Service agents guard the President, they continually scan the crowd. They’re looking for unusual movements or odd behaviors that may be an indication of danger. The agents have studied how innocent people usually behave, so they can spot a person who’s acting “guilty.” We can apply some of these lessons to guarding our marriages.

These warning signs may indicate an affair:

  1. Changing eating and sleeping patterns;
  2. Wearing a different style of clothes;
  3. Starting arguments or becoming very passive;
  4. Working longer or different hours;
  5. Pulling away from church and extended family;
  6. Taking more showers than usual;
  7. Comparing his or her spouse to other people;
  8. Hiding credit card charges and cash withdrawals;
  9. Taking off his or her wedding ring;
  10. Becoming secretive or defensive about phone calls and emails.

You don’t need to be paranoid or to see things that aren’t there. I don’t recommend that you spy on your spouse . . . but if you need to, feel free. It would be wise, however, to be on guard.

Guard Yourself

Affairs begin in many ways and for many reasons, so we must be always on guard for the slightest hint of temptation.Corinthians 10:13 says that God will always provide a way of escape, but we have to make a decision to run toward the door.

When you’re hints turn into flirtations, flirtations turn into attractions, attractions turn into affairs, and affairs turn into disasters. 1st guarding your marriage, you’re not guarding just your spouse, but guarding yourself too. I rationalized my way into a boatload of trouble because I thought, The rules don’t apply to me. I’ve been to Bible College, I’m smart, I have self-control, and I can stop before it gets too far. All lies!

My affair began at work, so I’m an expert on workplace temptation. Once, the most common type of office infidelity was between male bosses and females who were lower-ranking employees, but that’s changed in the last ten years. With more and more women working, the most common office affair is between coworkers. The man I had my affair with (Jake) was not my boss; we were both sales reps—equals.

My relationship with Jake started innocently. I noticed that we laughed at the same things, and he noticed that we liked similar music, so we started to sit together at lunch. We were just friends … until we weren’t.

I remember the first time we went out of the friendship zone and into the danger zone. We were sitting next to each other at a sales meeting when his leg brushed up against mine. I felt a spark at the contact point and was a bit disappointed when he pulled away. A few minutes later, he shifted slightly in his chair and his leg, from knee to thigh, pressed gently against mine. I liked it, and I didn’t pull away.

I should have. But because I didn’t, I sent him a signal that I was unguarded. We both began to look for excuses to be together. If I’d not responded to his flirtations, I would have avoided the biggest regret of my life.

Dealing with Attraction

Coworkers sometimes work on projects or solve problems together, and the resulting closeness can build teamwork—but it can also build a feeling of intimacy. If you feel an attraction to someone in your office, consider a transfer to a different department, a different position, or maybe you should quit. No job is more valuable than your marriage. I knew that I could not continue to work with Jake without being tempted, so I quit my job the same day I confessed my affair to my husband.

Be honest with yourself. If you’re dressing to please someone at work or lingering in the parking lot hoping that person will ask you to lunch, stop now, before you’ve gone too far. If you’re in doubt as to what conduct is inappropriate, ask yourself,Would I do this in front of my spouse? And if you’re still not sure, ask yourself, Would I do it in front of the Lord? (You are, you know.) Here is a simple rule to keep you on the straight and narrow: If you’d have to hide it or lie about it—don’t do it!

The key to growing effective guarding hedges is to be honest about your weaknesses, both as individuals and as a couple. Set up distinct boundaries and enforce them. If your spouse reminds you of the rules, don’t be defensive or point out your mate’s faults; accept his or her correction because it’s for the greater good of the marriage. Some of the most difficult phrases to say—you’re right and I’m sorry—can save your marriage—and your love.

When Secret Service agents guard the President, they regard the President’s life as more important than their own individual lives. Guard your marriages in the same way. You may be required to sacrifice part of your individual life—hobbies, profession, TV time, computer time, sports activities—to strengthen your marriage. If you’re both willing to make your marriage a priority, however, and guard it from internal and external dangers, your home will be a safe haven.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 “It is God’s will that you should be holy; that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like those who do not know God.” (NIV)

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Adapted from Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome: How to Grow Affair Proof Hedges Around Your Marriage, Kregel Publications.  © 2004 by Nancy C. Anderson.

 

3 Excuses We Use When We Mess Up

SOURCE:  Relevant Magazine/Adam Highfill

Most of us get shy and shameful when we hear the word “self-control,” mainly because most of us aren’t good at it. Self-control is discipline’s ugly big brother that is almost impossible to get right, and nearly as difficult to talk about. Every since I was eight years old, the very term has made me fidget in my chair. It’s uncomfortable for me because I’m bad at eating healthy and I really like buying shoes.

On a deeper level, there are other things I want to abstain from in my mind and my spirit, but my human greed wants them so bad it hurts. That is where it gets tricky. It a challenge, but if we can watch out for the right things, we can all get better at self-control. Maybe if we can manage to stand up to ourselves in the same way we stand up for ourselves, it would change the trajectory of our thought processes. Of course, there’s grace when we mess up (because we will mess up, and often). But learning to recognize and guard against the big enemies of self-control can help free us from bad habits—and the guilt that often comes with them.

In the face of a generation that says spontaneity only involves “doing what you feel” and chalks most poor decisions up to #YOLO, self-control introduces a different perspective.

Here are a few enemies of self-control to be aware of in moments of weakness.

1. “I Just Feel Like It!”

The idea of risk reversal was created long ago to help ease a buyer’s mind in the buying process. This is where all the “love it, or your money back, guaranteed” stuff comes from.

Unfortunately, however, life can’t be undone and exchanged for store credit. Mistakes that don’t wear price tags can cost you much more than you bargained for. Ephesians 5:15-16 warns us about these kinds of decisions. “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”

In the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey says, “The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person.” Being a proactive and wise person requires the ability to recognize your own impulsiveness, pause before you make a snap decision, and ask, “How does this fit into the value lane I’ve created for myself?”

Ahhh mannn! That’s boring, right?

The truth is, this doesn’t have to be restricting. In the face of a generation that says spontaneity only involves “doing what you feel” and chalks most poor decisions up to #YOLO, self-control introduces a different perspective. Choosing a few areas in your life as non-negotiables can actually provide incredible freedom and clarity, and help you define what you want your life to look like in 10-20-30 years.

If you hold onto those values with everything you have, you can be free to live incredibly spontaneous and whimsical in all the other areas of your life, without fear of flying off the tracks.

2. “Just This Once”

Another large threat against self-control is the whisper that says “It’ll be OK just this time.”

Clay Christensen, a Harvard business professor and world-renowned innovation expert, addresses this brilliantly in his book How Will You Measure Your Life. He says,

Many of us have convinced ourselves that we are able to break our own personal rules “just this once.” In our minds, we can justify these small choices. If you give in to “just this once,”… you’ll regret where you end up.

It’s easier to hold to your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold to them 98 percent of the time. The boundary—your personal moral line—is powerful because you don’t cross it; if you have justified doing it once, there’s nothing to stop you doing it again.

Decide what you stand for. And then stand for it all the time.

The ability to delay gratification—and choose sustainable happiness over short-term pleasure—has been proven to be a core quality of successful, happy people.

It is easy to slip into bad habits and temperaments when you accept a “just this once” mentality. But this causes us to live in fear of the unknown, wondering if we’ll have what it takes to make the right choice tomorrow or next week.

But self-control says, “I will stand up to myself, and conduct myself against the same code whether the moment is chaotic or calm, complicated or clear.”

3. “It’ll Make Me Happy!”

Where the Fruit of the Spirit live in Galatians 5, the word self-control in the original language is closer related to the ability to master desires and passions, especially sensual appetites. One of the ugliest ways to undermine self-control is through pleasure, settling for the immediate “good feeling” over the longer-term, sustainable benefits.

A popular study done by Stanford University tested preschool-aged children’s ability to delay gratification. They sat a child down in a private room with a single marshmallow in front of them on a table. The mediator told the child that he was leaving the room, and the child could eat the marshmallow while he was gone. But if the child did not eat the marshmallow, they would be rewarded with two marshmallows when he returned. But if the child chose to eat the marshmallow, they would not receive another.

It was a choice of one now or two later.

No surprise, the camera footage of the children alone in the room was quite hilarious. Some ate the marshmallow as soon as the door shut. Others squirmed for a few minutes examining, or even licking, the marshmallow before choosing to devour it piece-by-piece. But there were a few who chose not to eat the treat.

Though this experiment became quite popular when it was published in 1972, the really interesting reports didn’t come until years later. After performing follow-up studies over the next 10-12 years, the researchers found that the children who were able to wait for the two marshmallows were found to have higher SAT scores, lower susceptibility to substance abuse, lower likelihood of obesity, better social skills and better response to stress.

The ability to delay gratification—and choose sustainable happiness over short-term pleasure—has been proven to be a core quality of successful, happy people. Just take it from the kids: pleasure is not happiness, and we’d do well to consciously choose the latter.

SIX STEPS TO CHANGE OUR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS

SOURCE:  David Murray

Feelings have big muscles.

They are often the most powerful force in our lives. They can bully our minds, our consciences, and our wills. They can even knock out the facts and bring truth to its knees.

This is perhaps okay when the feelings are good, when we experience joy, peace, and happiness. But more often anxiety, fear, sadness, and guilt rear their ugly heads and start shoving us around. That vicious tag team can quickly bruise and bloody us, confusing our minds and blurring our vision. Nothing looks good when we’ve gone a few rounds with them. We just want to slink out of the ring of life and crawl back into bed again.

How then can we get our emotions under control? How can we knock down guilt and wrestle fear to the ground? How can we summon allies like joy and peace to our side, especially when we often feel so alone in the fight of our lives? How can we be happy when there is so much to be sad about?

The Bible trains us to think ourselves out of bad moods and painful feelings. Consider, for example, Asaph’s experience in Psalm 77.

Step 1: What are the facts? Asaph’s life situation is not defined in detail in Psalm 77. Asaph calls it “the day of my trouble” (v. 2), a deliberately general description that fits many life situations.

Step 2: What does he think about these facts? When he considers the troubles in his life, Asaph concludes that God has rejected him, doesn’t love him, has broken His promises, and has even changed in His character (vv. 7–9). As a result, he thinks that the past was great (v. 5), but the future is bleak and gloomy (v. 7).

Step 3: What is he feeling? He is inconsolably distressed by his trouble (v. 2) and overwhelmingly perplexed when he even thinks of God (v. 3). He feels abandoned by God and pessimistic about enjoying God’s love and favor again (vv. 7–9).

Step 4: Can he change the facts? There’s no evidence that Asaph could change the facts or that his situation changed.

Step 5: Can he change his thoughts about the facts? At the end of verse 9, he pauses, and he takes time to be quiet, to still his soul and calm down. When he does that, new thoughts begin to form, transforming his perspective and outlook.

In verses 10–12, he deliberately forces his mind to think new thoughts, to explore new areas for meditation. He says, “I’m not going to think like this anymore. I’m going to change my thinking habits and patterns.” He firmly resolves:

I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.
I will remember the works of the Lord.
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
I will also meditate on all Your work,
And [I will] talk of Your deeds. (vv. 10–12)

Notice that he refocuses his thinking upon God’s powerful acts of providence through the centuries (vv. 13–20). Specifically, he notes how God sometimes leads His people through deep waters (v. 19) and sometimes through the wilderness (v. 20), but ultimately He leads them to the promised land (v. 20). For the believer, this is not just about thinking better; it’s also about believing better. It involves thought patterns in the head, but it also involves faith patterns in the heart.

Step 6: What is he feeling now? Judging by Asaph’s words in verses 13–20, there’s a very different tone in his voice. He no longer questions God’s existence, character, and providence but praises Him:

Who is so great a God as our God?
You are the God who does wonders;
You have declared Your strength among the peoples.
You have with Your arm redeemed Your people. (vv. 13–15)

Instead of doubt, there is confidence; instead of pessimism, there is optimism; instead of vulnerability, there is security; instead of distress, there is comfort. Asaph’s facts have not changed, but his feelings have because, with the help of God’s Word and works, he has changed his thoughts about the facts. We can see similar patterns of spiritual and emotional therapy in Psalms 42 and 43; Job 19; and Habakkuk 3.

Notice, I’ve asked six questions in two groups of three. The first three—about facts, thoughts, and feelings—help us identify our thoughts and recognize how they affect our emotions and behavior.

The second three—also about facts, thoughts, and feelings—help us challenge our thoughts, change them, and so change our feelings and actions. That’s fairly easy to remember, isn’t it? In summary:

  • How did I get into this mood? Facts, thoughts, and feelings.
  • How do I get out of this mood? Facts, thoughts, and feelings.

The key is to identify which specific thoughts drive particular emotions. If I think about loss, I’ll be sad. If I think about sin, I’ll feel guilty. If I think I’m too thin or too fat, I’ll feel embarrassed.

But if I think about God’s gifts, I’ll be thankful; if I think about God’s beauty, I’ll be inspired;  if I think about God’s sovereignty, I’ll feel peaceful.

Develop an ability to challenge and change your thoughts, beliefs, and emotions by using this biblical pattern.

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This article was extracted from Dr. David Murray’s new book, The Happy Christian (2015).

ANGER: Don’t Fight Fire With Fire

SOURCE:  Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict by Ken Sande

In responding to an angry reaction, remember that “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov. 15:1). Respond to anger with a gentle voice, relaxed posture, and calm gestures. Communicate in every way that you take the other’s expression of anger seriously and want to help resolve the problems that prompt it. Plan ahead how to respond to possible objections and deal with them specifically and reasonably.

If you’re counting on excellent self-control or a naturally sunny disposition to keep you from responding harshly to a burst of anger from someone else today, you’re drawing from an awfully shallow well. Chances are your “well of gentleness” will run dry … at exactly the worst moment.

The source of the “gentle answer” to anger that’s recommended in Proverbs isn’t you at all. It is none other than Christ, as he desires to make an appeal through us precisely at the moment that another unloads anger.

As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:18-19, “All this”–including the ability to respond to anger with a gentle answer–“is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”

So if you find yourself on the receiving end of a blast of anger today, don’t rely on yourself to respond gently. Instead, pray briefly, then invite Christ to make his appeal through you. As Paul notes, God has committed the message of reconciliation to you; it is your birthright as a Christian. Far more reliable than your own pleasant demeanor, it is a constant within you. Pray for God’s guidance to draw upon it even in the most trying circumstances.

Practice Being Slow (to be angry)

SOURCE:  Living Free

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19-20 NIV

The Bible clearly states that we are to practice being slow to anger. This simple admonition means we can work with angry feelings, not just bury them or release them in bursts of temper. 

The first step involves acknowledging feelings of anger and accepting them. Describe your feelings (to yourself). I am irritated. I am angry. I am furious. Determine the level and intensity of these feelings: a little upset, moderately upset, or very upset. Get honest with your anger. Admit you are losing control.

At this point don’t be critical of your feelings as to their being right or wrong but look at your feelings and think of them as you would a temperature gauge on the dash of your automobile. The gauge light comes on, and it is red indicating that the engine is overheated. Don’t try to determine the cause of the malfunction or try to fix it at this point. Just observe the warning light. It’s overheated! Just acknowledge the fact.

Consider this … 
This is the principle of the first step in controlling your anger. Just acknowledge and accept the fact of feeling angry – don’t bury your feelings or blurt out a hasty response you will regret. “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

Prayer
Father, help me to be slow to anger. When feelings of anger begin to build, help me to acknowledge them. And help me to refrain from instantly blurting out an angry response that I will probably regret. In Jesus’ name …


These thoughts were drawn from: …

Anger: Our Master or Our Servant by Larry Heath.

Anger Management

TIPS AND TECHNIQUES FOR GETTING ANGER UNDER CONTROL

SOURCE:  Adapted from Helpguide.org

Are you famous for your short temper? Do you have a short fuse or find yourself getting into frequent arguments and fights? Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. But it’s unhealthy when it flares up all the time or spirals out of control. Chronic, explosive anger has serious consequences for your relationships, your health, and your state of mind. The good news is that getting anger under control is easier than you think. With a little insight into the real reasons for your anger and some effective anger management tools, you can learn how to express your feelings in healthier ways and keep your temper from hijacking your life.

Understanding anger

The emotion of anger is neither good nor bad. It’s perfectly healthy and normal to feel angry when you’ve been mistreated or wronged. The feeling isn’t the problem—it’s what you do with it that makes a difference. Anger becomes a problem when it harms you or others.

If you have a hot temper, you may feel like it’s out of your hands and there’s little you can do to tame the beast. But you have more control over your anger than you think. You can learn to express your emotions without hurting others—and when you do, you’ll not only feel better, but you’ll also be more likely to get your needs met. Mastering the art of anger management takes work, but the more you practice, the easier it will get. And the payoff is huge. Learning to control your anger and express it appropriately will help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a healthier, more satisfying life.

Myths and Facts about Anger

Myth: I shouldn’t “hold in” my anger. It’s healthy to vent and let it out.

Fact: While it’s true that suppressing and ignoring anger is unhealthy, venting is no better. Anger is not something you have to “let out” in an aggressive way in order to avoid blowing up. In fact, outbursts and tirades only fuel the fire and reinforce your anger problem.

Myth: Anger, aggression, and intimidation help me earn respect and get what I want.

Fact: True power doesn’t come from bullying others. People may be afraid of you, but they won’t respect you if you can’t control yourself or handle opposing viewpoints. Others will be more willing to listen to you and accommodate your needs if you communicate in a respectful way.

Myth: I can’t help myself. Anger isn’t something you can control. 

Fact: You can’t always control the situation you’re in or how it makes you feel, but you can control how you express your anger. And you can express your anger without being verbally or physically abusive. Even if someone is pushing your buttons, you always have a choice about how to respond.

Myth: Anger management is about learning to suppress your anger.

Fact: Never getting angry is not a good goal. Anger is normal, and it will come out regardless of how hard you try to suppress it. Anger management is all about becoming aware of your underlying feelings and needs and developing healthier ways to manage upset. Rather than trying to suppress your anger, the goal is to express it in constructive ways.

Why learning to control your anger is important

You might think that venting your anger is healthy, that the people around you are too sensitive, that your anger is justified, or that you need to show your fury to get respect. But the truth is that anger is much more likely to damage your relationships, impair your judgment, get in the way of success, and have a negative impact on the way people see you.

  • Out-of-control anger hurts your physical health. Constantly operating at high levels of stress and tension is bad for your health. Chronic anger makes you more susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, a weakened immune system, insomnia, and high blood pressure.
  • Out-of-control anger hurts your mental health. Chronic anger consumes huge amounts of mental energy and clouds your thinking, making it harder to concentrate, see the bigger picture, and enjoy life. It can also lead to stress, depression, and other mental health problems.
  • Out-of-control anger hurts your career. Constructive criticism, creative differences, and heated debate can be healthy. But lashing out only alienates your colleagues, supervisors, or clients and erodes their respect. What’s more, a bad reputation can follow you wherever you go, making it harder and harder to get ahead.
  • Out-of-control anger hurts your relationships with others. It causes lasting scars in the people you love most and gets in the way of your friendships and work relationships. Chronic, intense anger makes it hard for others to trust you, speak honestly, or feel comfortable—they never know what is going to set you off or what you will do. Explosive anger is especially damaging to children.

Anger control and management tip 1: Explore what’s really behind your anger

If you’re struggling with out-of-control anger, you may be wondering why your fuse is so short. Anger problems often stem from what you’ve learned as a child. If you watched others in your family scream, hit each other, or throw things, you might think this is how anger is supposed to be expressed. Traumatic events and high levels of stress can make you more susceptible to anger as well.

Anger is often a cover-up for other feelings

In order to get your needs met and express your anger in appropriate ways, you need to be in touch with what you are really feeling. Are you truly angry? Or is your anger masking other feelings such as embarrassment, insecurity, hurt, shame, or vulnerability?

If your knee-jerk response in many situations is anger, it is very likely that your temper is covering up your true feelings and needs. This is especially likely if you grew up in a family where expressing feelings was strongly discouraged. As an adult, you may have a hard time acknowledging feelings other than anger.

Clues that there’s something more to your anger

  • You have a hard time compromising. Is it hard for you to understand other people’s points of view, and even harder to concede a point? If you grew up in a family where anger was out of control, you may remember how the angry person got his or her way by being the loudest and most demanding. Compromising might bring up scary feelings of failure and vulnerability.
  • You have trouble expressing emotions other than anger. Do you pride yourself on being tough and in control, never letting your guard down? Do you feel that emotions like fear, guilt, or shame don’t apply to you? Everyone has those emotions, and if you think you don’t, you may be using anger as a cover for them.
  • You view different opinions and viewpoints as a personal challenge to you. Do you believe that your way is always right and get angry when others disagree? If you have a strong need to be in control or a fragile ego, you may interpret other perspectives as a challenge to your authority, rather than simply a different way of looking at things.

If you are uncomfortable with many emotions, disconnected, or stuck on an angry one-note response to everything, it might do you some good to get back in touch with your feelings. Emotional awareness is the key to self-understanding and success in life. Without the ability to recognize, manage, and deal with the full range of human emotions, you’ll inevitably spin into confusion, isolation, and self-doubt.

Some Dynamics of Anger

  • We become more angry when we are stressed and body resources are down.
  • We are rarely ever angry for the reasons we think.
  • We are often angry when we didn’t get what we needed as a child.
  • We often become angry when we see a trait in others we can’t stand in ourselves.
  • Underneath many current angers are old disappointments, traumas, and triggers.
  • Sometimes we get angry because we were hurt as a child.
  • We get angry when a current event brings up an old unresolved situation from the past.
  • We often feel strong emotion when a situation has a similar content, words or energy that we have felt before.

Anger control and management tip 2: Be aware of your anger warning signs and triggers

While you might feel that you just explode into anger without warning, in fact, there are physical warning signs in your body. Anger is a normal physical response. It fuels the “fight or flight” system of the body, and the angrier you get, the more your body goes into overdrive. Becoming aware of your own personal signs that your temper is starting to boil allows you to take steps to manage your anger before it gets out of control.

Pay attention to the way anger feels in your body

  • Knots in your stomach
  • Clenching your hands or jaw
  • Feeling clammy or flushed
  • Breathing faster
  • Headaches
  • Pacing or needing to walk around
  • “Seeing red”
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Pounding heart
  • Tensing your shoulders

Identify the negative thought patterns that trigger your temper

You may think that external things—the insensitive actions of other people, for example, or frustrating situations—are what cause your anger. But anger problems have less to do with what happens to you than how you interpret and think about what happened. Common negative thinking patterns that trigger and fuel anger include:

  • Overgeneralizing. For example, “You always interrupt me. You NEVER consider my needs. EVERYONE disrespects me. I NEVER get the credit I deserve.”
  • Obsessing on “shoulds” and “musts.” Having a rigid view of the way things should or must be and getting angry when reality doesn’t line up with this vision.
  • Mind reading and jumping to conclusions. Assuming you “know” what someone else is thinking or feeling—that he or she intentionally upset you, ignored your wishes, or disrespected you.
  • Collecting straws. Looking for things to get upset about, usually while overlooking or blowing past anything positive. Letting these small irritations build and build until you reach the “final straw” and explode, often over something relatively minor.
  • Blaming. When anything bad happens or something goes wrong, it’s always someone else’s fault. You blame others for the things that happen to you rather than taking responsibility for your own life.

Avoid people, places, and situations that bring out your worst

Stressful events don’t excuse anger, but understanding how these events affect you can help you take control of your environment and avoid unnecessary aggravation. Look at your regular routine and try to identify activities, times of day, people, places, or situations that trigger irritable or angry feelings. Maybe you get into a fight every time you go out [socially] with a certain group of friends. Or maybe the traffic on your daily commute drives you crazy. Then think about ways to avoid these triggers or view the situation differently so it doesn’t make your blood boil.

Anger control and management tip 3: Learn ways to cool down

Once you know how to recognize the warning signs that your temper is rising and anticipate your triggers, you can act quickly to deal with your anger before it spins out of control. There are many techniques that can help you cool down and keep your anger in check.

Quick tips for cooling down

  • Focus on the physical sensations of anger. While it may seem counterintuitive, tuning into the way your body feels when you’re angry often lessens the emotional intensity of your anger.
  • Take some deep breaths. Deep, slow breathing helps counteract rising tension. The key is to breathe deeply from the abdomen, getting as much fresh air as possible into your lungs.
  • Exercise. A brisk walk around the block is a great idea. It releases pent-up energy so you can approach the situation with a cooler head.
  • Use your senses. Take advantage of the relaxing power of your sense of sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. You might try listening to music or picturing yourself in a favorite place.
  • Stretch or massage areas of tension. Roll your shoulders if you are tensing them, for example, or gently massage your neck and scalp.
  • Slowly count to ten. Focus on the counting to let your rational mind catch up with your feelings. If you still feel out of control by the time you reach ten, start counting again.

Give yourself a reality check

When you start getting upset about something, take a moment to think about the situation. Ask yourself:

  • How important is it in the grand scheme of things?
  • Is it really worth getting angry about it?
  • Is it worth ruining the rest of my day?
  • Is my response appropriate to the situation?
  • Is there anything I can do about it?
  • Is taking action worth my time?

Anger control and management tip 4: Find healthier ways to express your anger

If you’ve decided that the situation is worth getting angry about and there’s something you can do to make it better, the key is to express your feelings in a healthy way. When communicated respectfully and channeled effectively, anger can be a tremendous source of energy and inspiration for change.

Pinpoint what you’re really angry about

Have you ever gotten into an argument over something silly? Big fights often happen over something small, like a dish left out or being ten minutes late. But there’s usually a bigger issue behind it. If you find your irritation and anger rapidly rising, ask yourself “What am I really angry about?” Identifying the real source of frustration will help you communicate your anger better, take constructive action, and work towards a resolution.

Take five if things get too heated

If your anger seems to be spiraling out of control, remove yourself from the situation for a few minutes or for as long as it takes you to cool down. A brisk walk, a trip to the gym, or a few minutes listening to some music should allow you to calm down, release pent up emotion, and then approach the situation with a cooler head.

Always fight fair

It’s okay to be upset at someone, but if you don’t fight fair, the relationship will quickly break down. Fighting fair allows you to express your own needs while still respecting others.

  • Make the relationship your priority. Maintaining and strengthening the relationship, rather than “winning” the argument, should always be your first priority. Be respectful of the other person and his or her viewpoint.
  • Focus on the present. Once you are in the heat of arguing, it’s easy to start throwing past grievances into the mix. Rather than looking to the past and assigning blame, focus on what you can do in the present to solve the problem.
  • Choose your battles. Conflicts can be draining, so it’s important to consider whether the issue is really worthy of your time and energy. If you pick your battles rather than fighting over every little thing, others will take you more seriously when you are upset.
  • Be willing to forgive. Resolving conflict is impossible if you’re unwilling or unable to forgive. Resolution lies in releasing the urge to punish, which can never compensate for our losses and only adds to our injury by further depleting and draining our lives.
  • Know when to let something go. If you can’t come to an agreement, agree to disagree. It takes two people to keep an argument going. If a conflict is going nowhere, you can choose to disengage and move on.

Developing your conflict resolution skills

The way you respond to differences and disagreements at home and at work can create hostility and irreparable rifts, or it can built safety and trust. Learning how to resolve conflict in a positive way will help you strengthen your relationships.

When to seek help for anger management

If your anger is still spiraling out of control, despite putting the previous anger management techniques into practice, or if you’re getting into trouble with the law or hurting others—you need more help. There are many therapists, classes, and programs for people with anger management problems. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. You’ll often find others in the same shoes, and getting direct feedback on techniques for controlling anger can be tremendously helpful.

Consider professional help if:

  • You feel constantly frustrated and angry no matter what you try.
  • Your temper causes problems at work or in your relationships.
  • You avoid new events and people because you feel like you can’t control your temper.
  • You have gotten in trouble with the law due to your anger.
  • Your anger has ever led to physical violence.
  • Therapy for anger problems. Therapy can be a great way to explore the reasons behind your anger. If you don’t know why you are getting angry, it’s very hard to control. Therapy provides a safe environment to learn more about your reasons and identify triggers for your anger. It’s also a safe place to practice new skills in expressing your anger.
  • Anger management classes or groups.Anger management classes or groups allow you to see others coping with the same struggles. You will also learn tips and techniques for managing your anger and hear other people’s stories. For domestic violence issues, traditional anger management is usually not recommended. There are special classes that go to the issue of power and control that are at the heart of domestic violence.

If your loved one has an anger management problem

If your loved one has an anger problem, you probably feel like you’re walking on eggshells all the time. But always remember that you are not to blame for your loved one’s anger. There is never an excuse for physically or verbally abusive behavior. You have a right to be treated with respect and to live without fear of an angry outburst or a violent rage.

Tips for dealing with a loved one’s anger management problem

While you can’t control another person’s anger, you can control how you respond to it:

  • Set clear boundaries about what you will and will not tolerate.
  • Wait for a time when you are both calm to talk to your loved one about the anger problem. Don’t bring it up when either one of you is already angry.
  • Remove yourself from the situation if your loved one does not calm down.
  • Consider counseling or therapy for yourself if you are having a hard time standing up for yourself.
  • Put your safety first. Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe or threatened in any way, get away from your loved one and go somewhere safe.

Anger isn’t the real problem in abusive relationships

Despite what many people believe, domestic violence and abuse is not due to the abuser’s loss of control over his behavior and temper. In fact, abusive behavior is a deliberate choice for the sole purpose of controlling you. If you are in an abusive relationship, know that couples counseling is not recommended—and your partner need specialized treatment, not regular anger management classes.

THE TRUCE

Source:   Before a Bad Goodbye by Tim Clinton

Call a truce – a cessation of hostilities.  Give it all a rest.

This is not giving up territory.  None of the issues that have brought you here have been resolved or lost.  All lines in the sand remain where they’re drawn.  You don’t have to jump into each other’s arms; just stop lobbing shells at each other.

Stop hurting each other.  There has been enough of that!

The last thing you or your spouse need right now is more negativity and hurt.  From this point on, choose to be either polite or be positive.

Specifically do and don’t do the following:

*DO Respect Your Partner: This might be very hard to do right now.  Having been hurt as you probably have, respect might be a difficult word to reclaim for your vocabulary.  But try.  You and your spouse may view things very differently.  But by learning about those differences and what motivates them, and by exercising patience and understanding, you can come together and find workable solutions to your problems.  How do you gain respect?  By behaving respectfully to one another, and by behaving in ways worthy of respect.

*DON’T Use Words To Hurt: Give up old patterns of using wild accusations, vulgarity, name calling, raised voices, and threats to make yourself heard.  These destructive behaviors accomplish nothing and leave both partners feeling angry and manipulated.  Screaming only means that somewhere along the way you’ve lost control and have failed to get your message across effectively.  If you suddenly feel like exploding, stop, realize that you still have some work to do to make your point, and quietly restate your argument.

DON’T Force Settlements: Insisting that a dispute be settled “immediately,” no matter how poor the setting might be—mealtime, bedtime, in public—can be disastrous. A postponement allows tempers to cool and gives both partners time to look over the situation more realistically and less emotionally.

DON’T Attack Your Partner’s Soft-Spot: You know your spouse’s buttons—you probably know them better than your spouse does.  Stay away from them.  Intentional wounding cuts deeply and heals slowly.  Stick to the issue.

*DON’T Shut Down: Not only does the “silent treatment” end effective communication, but it also defeats any possibility of compromise and allows misunderstandings to fester. If you need a break—take one!  But come back quickly.

*DON’T Involve Others: No matter how heated the argument, no matter how important it is that you win, don’t drag the children or other relatives, or friends, or any one else into it.  If you need an ally, call on the Lord; and if you need someone to mediate, call on an objective professional counselor or pastor.

It is scary to think about giving up negatives—the barbs, the intimidation, the yelling and screaming.  It’s not only been the only way to be heard, but it’s also been your method of defense. So, naturally you’re frightened.  The idea creates a terrible vulnerability.  In actuality, standing firm without barbed wire defending your perimeter is a much stronger position to hold.

As you can imagine, there are obstacles that can rear up that cause couples to hesitate in establishing the truce.  Most center around a fear of failure and, ultimately, a fear of being hurt again.

“Before I commit to anything, I want to see a flicker of love from my partner” is the most common statement of hesitation. You want some assurance that if you make the commitment, your partner will love you enough to not turn the commitment against you.  But there is no assurance.  Even if you could see a flicker of love, it could go out tomorrow.  The only safety is to strengthen yourself in the Love of Jesus, to realize that He is the only One whose love never flickers or fails.

By committing to make your marriage the most important thing in your life for the next few weeks and to be polite and positive with your mate, you’re risking very little.  If betrayed, you can always begin the war again.  Of course, once you feel the relief this kind of strength gives you, you may never see the need to rejoin the war.

Another obstacle concerns the cost of love; opening yourself up to being hurt again may seem too great a risk.  The fear of being hurt is normal.  Some 2,000 years ago, our Savior weighed the price His Father had placed on His love for His people.  “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).  Jesus, although prepared to go to the cross and to suffer separation from His Father to save His people from their sins, for a moment poignantly asked God the Father if He might reconsider.  If you’re concerned about the cost of loving your spouse, consider the cost Jesus paid for loving you.

Another common obstacle is the statement, “Making this step is foreign to me,” or some similar words.  It may be that people who say this just don’t want to take the chance that things might only get worse.  They’ll admit that all this talk of truce and rebuilding sounds good but think, in the end, it won’t amount to much.  Then they’ll have just spent more time on the road getting to safety or the divorce court.  But God fashions life; chance never enters into it.  He’s called you to do the right thing, and loving your spouse and committing yourself to a vital and God-honoring marriage is definitely the right thing.

And finally, one other statement is said often:  “I can’t love again.”  It’s a terribly forlorn statement.  Love is so basic to us – we were born in the garden out of God’s love and to believe that love is an emotion of the past is like waking to an eternal winter.  What’s worse is those who take it a step farther and believe love is at the root of all the evil that’s befallen them, that it’s actually a blessing to live the rest of their lives loveless.  But love is not the culprit; not loving in God’s model is.

Over the next four to six weeks, do your part to make the truce work as you take the next steps allowing the Lord to heal, rebuild, and restore your marriage to the way He originally intended it to be.

EATING DISORDERS: ACTION STEPS


Identify a Target Weight

  • It is important to identify an ideal weight and target weight. Ideal weight refers to the best weight for the person when the person’s height and body type are taken into account. The body mass index (oft en abbreviated as BMI) is the most accurate measure of ideal weight, but few persons can easily work with this index.
  • A target weight is the lowest safe weight; it is the bare minimum you want someone with an eating disorder to be at. Target weight is calculated as 90 percent of midpoint of the ideal weight. It is best to have agreement on a target weight with a doctor or dietician because persons with eating disorders oft en try to negotiate this number.

Focus on Relationships

  • You will want to build a positive relationship with the person. Those with eating disorders tend to have a very hard time being open and accepting help. You will need much patience and you will need to be willing to speak the truth. Let the young woman know that she must be willing to hear the truth.
  • Encourage family members to show unconditional love to the eating disordered person. Do not criticize or compare or ask questions in a manner that causes the person to feel condemned.
  • Healing relationships with people and with God are essential to the recovery process.

Take the Focus Off of Food

  • Unless the girl is in immediate danger from starvation or electrolyte problems, examine what weight loss means to this person, what eating stands for, and what she most fears about eating.
  • Help the family to take the focus off food at home. They need to see that focusing on food is part of the disease, not the solution.

Watch for Triggers

  • Help her to see what triggers her bingeing behaviors and try to identify situations that aggravate it.
  • Help her to see what is behind her actions. Chances are, some kind of anxiety and stress is driving these actions.

Change Thinking Patterns

  • Gently question the girl’s thinking. Help her begin to see the lies behind the behaviors that are trapping her.

Examine Perfectionism

  • Examine her perfectionism. Chances are she holds herself to standards to which she does not hold her loved ones.
  • Help her to examine these standards and how they square with God’s truth revealed in Scripture.

Keep a Journal

  • Encourage the person to write in a journal about her feelings and the events of each day. She may have difficulty identifying feelings. Help her to view her feelings as normal and acceptable.

Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!” Numbers 11:4-6

Preoccupation with food can indicate an eating disorder. When people become overly focused on food, their dependence on God suffers.

The Israelites, while not having an eating disorder, did experience a “perspective disorder” because of their focus on food. Their preoccupation with foods they did not have caused them to lose sight of God’s miraculous and loving provision of manna.

When people become preoccupied with anything other than God, they can lose their perspective of God’s care for them. People with eating disorders need to refocus on their worth in God’s eyes and be thankful for God’s provision.

Put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite.Proverbs 23:2

Some people attempt to fill the emptiness in their lives with drugs, alcohol, sex, money, or even hard work. Others use food, and such people find themselves trapped in emotional eating—leading to such problems as obesity and bulimia.

There is nothing wrong with food. There must be a balance, however, between enjoying what God has provided, and using food to meet emotional needs and thus allowing it to control one’s life.

The fruit of the Spirit called self-control applies to many areas of life, including eating. God desires to fill any emptiness, helping us to lead balanced, healthy lives.

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 1 Corinthians 6:12-13

Some who face a difficult eating disorder—whether it be an addiction to food, or an addiction to going without food—understand the power of that addiction. God provided food for the animals and people He created in order to sustain them. Food is meant for sustenance—”foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods.”

A food addiction takes the focus off God and puts it on one’s food or stomach— both of which will eventually no longer be needed.

People who struggle with eating disorders should seek Christian professional guidance to gain a proper perspective and pattern for eating.


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