The other day I read something on social media that set my heart racing. I mean, these days there’s a lot of things on social media that are pretty ridiculous. But, this time, this one hit close to home. Someone had decided to use their social media to slander someone close to my heart.
Here’s the thing about social media and America…
- You have the First Amendment that ensures your right to freedom of speech.
- Some people like to air dirty laundry – right or wrong.
- Drama seems to, unfortunately, make this country turn.
Even with that, I still stewed.
I’ve said it before but I’m all about family. That doesn’t only include blood. Here is a side lesson: family is who you choose it to be. But, ensure that those you choose are worthy to be called family. They should motivate, encourage, support, respect and love you. They should never be controlling, manipulative, judgemental, disrespectful and bash your beliefs. You’re welcome, by the way, on that lesson.
Back on topic, I was angry at the words I read. This person decided to attack the very faith that I believe in – the very faith they claim they too believe in – in order to hurt someone. The more I stewed the more my anger burned. I thought of words to say to defend my faith, to defend the person they attacked, to fight back. And then I realized, the anger that I have building makes me no better than them.
“You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; in just the same way, you learn to love by loving.”
– St. Francis de Sales
I felt convicted because of the anger building in my heart. How many times did Jesus have to face people unjustly hating on Him? He sure didn’t react the way I did – seeking a way to avenge what was attacked. That’s the problem with anger and hatred. It seeks revenge. It seeks misdirected justice. It misinforms other parties in hopes to sway them to be angry and hateful. It does no good, for anyone.
Handling anger is a pretty important life skill. Everyone has to deal with anger in life. I had to learn how to control my anger because it was hurting me and those I loved. How did I figure out control?
- Got down and dirty and figured out the root cause of my anger. It wasn’t a, “My husband didn’t listen to me when I said this.” One time where I’m not heard isn’t the cause of my anger. I had to dig deeper.
- Stopped hiding, faced the truth. I hid behind a mask that helped me to pretend to be someone I wasn’t to continue to secretly seethed. Disastrous. I dealt with my anger. I talked through it. But, only after I let it eat me alive until one day I didn’t recognize the person I’d become. Don’t follow in my footsteps. Trust me, if you let that happen, there is A LOT MORE GROWING PAINS to deal with.
- Learn self-control. This was the hardest lesson. Hard because I had to trust God that He could teach me. I had to also be willing to learn. First of all, I’m very impatient. Secondly, I don’t trust easily. But, I wanted the freedom to live my life as God saw fit. If I continued to be angry I couldn’t harvest His blessings.
I used to have a really short fuse. I got mad at the smallest things. I had to learn self-control. I had to face the truth of what was causing all of my anger. I’m not very saintly by any stretch, but, I trust and believe God enough to understand that anger isn’t for me and the best way to show people God, is to love by loving not love by vengeance.
Once I decided to face my anger and learned to control it I began to grow. God opened doors in my life. And because of that, anger has no place in my life. Does it have a place in yours? xoxo