Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rationalizing Anger

You can prolong your anger by rationalizing it or blaming others for it rather than accepting full responsibility for your part. To rationalize something means "to cause it to seem reasonable," when it may not be reasonable at all.

Listen to some rationalizations:

* It's not my fault I am angry.

* My former spouse does not deserve to be forgiven. I'm not going to let him or her off the hook that easy.

* Why should I bother when my former spouse isn't even trying?

* I have had such a hard life.

* Anger is a habit of mine. I wouldn't know how else to respond.

When you rationalize your anger, you are telling yourself that you have the right to be angry. Focusing on "my rights" results in self-centered thinking and not God-centered thinking. Choose to act in wisdom, not based on how your anger makes you feel (i.e., gives you self-righteous satisfaction).

The book of Proverbs contains instructions on how to think and act wisely. A good suggestion is to read one chapter of Proverbs each day.

"The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young-let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. . . . The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline" (Proverbs 1:1-5, 7).

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