The anger in your life has been THE one big setback and barrier to you experiencing the life that both God and you want for yourself. It is absolutely critical that you focus all of your energy, time, money, and heart on managing the God-given emotion of anger in a way that honors God and helps build stronger relationships.
You have hurt nearly everyone in your life to one degree or another by your expressions of anger. You have used all of the anger’s ugly tools – sarcasm, negativity, criticalness, or outright blowing up. In some of the worse cases, you have allowed angry feelings to fester into horrible bitterness and isolation from those you were angry with. However, most distressing is that your immediate family has been hurt the most. Twice in the last 18 months, you have been asked by them to not live with them because they consistently saw anger expressions that caused fear and hopelessness rather than love.
I know you love your family. You want the very best for them. When you were a young Christian you set out to have a family life that was so radically different from the pain and poor example you experienced in your childhood. It was your heart to break the cycle that you had seen. You have proved that you wanted the best for them by providing so much for them and striving to set a spiritual example for them. You have provided for them financially, materially, and physically to the best of your ability the last two decades. But now that you do not have the monetary and material resources to give to them due to your business struggling so much and the down economy, how will you demonstrate your love for them? It must be by learning and implementing new righteous ways to handle anger. Demonstrating to them that the power of God and a heart to change and living, in reality, is what life is all about.
Seeking forgiveness and a welcome place at the family dinner table is not as important as seeking to be an example of a faithful heart and hard work gaining victory over a battle that Satan has used to divide.
You have already put a lot of work into understanding your anger problem through studying what the Bible teaches about anger, reading books, seeing a therapist, confessing to close brothers, consistently attending Celebrate Recovery, and attending the Freedom from Destructive Anger class at Shadow Mountain. You have begun to understand more clearly your distorted thinking patterns, your past, your view of the world, your view of yourself, and your view of God. Now – DON’T STOP! DON’T QUIT! Keep working on it. You have already proved numerous times in your life that you are willing and able to put your very best effort into what you want in life. You are accustomed to working hard for what you want. And you want this victory otherwise this letter would not be written. Think about how far your life has come and what you have experienced. And realize that all along the way God has been right by your side helping you and leading you.
Nothing has changed – God is still with you. You want to learn and change. You will be victorious and as a result, you will teach your family how to live life in Christ by fighting through the things that hold you back. You will also be able to help others -which is what has always inspired you – even from a very early age.
The damage you have done is real – but overcoming that damage with God’s help will create something more stable, more durable, and more real. Your family is worth the effort and God think you are worth the transformation that he has planned for you. Watching you being transformed more and more into the likeness of Jesus is something your family will never forget and will leave much more of an impression than any business success, job promotion, material possession, or vacation that you have ever given them.
Adrian, you must learn that your initial reaction to something that hurts you, threatens you, or frustrates you must be processed through an intentional set of questions and safeguards (remember “The Matrix”). Ask yourself:
o Why are you angry?- focus on hurt, frustration, and fear
o What do I want from this encounter? – look for positive outcomes for yourself
o How can I get as much as possible of what I want? The things you want are not unreasonable – but this may not be the time, circumstance, or person you can get that from – look for other opportunities or sources for what you need
You can do it! God is with you! Keep fighting! Your life and the life of those you love the most depend on you seeing this through to completion by doing your part. Face it head on and never give up! I look forward to seeing how God will use this to bless many!