Pause, Pray, Respond
Understand this, my brothers and sisters:
You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak,
and slow to get angry.
JAMES 1:19 (NLT)
Over the past year, I have been working through an Anger Workbook with my close friend, Nancy Beggs. As we have journeyed together through our anger issues and the anger issues of our spouses, God has shown me so much on how suppressing my anger and my passive aggressive ways in response to that anger, have hurt myself and my family.
Feeling anger is not a sin but a red flag warning that I am either feeling hurt, fear or frustration. It is how I respond to that feeling that will determine whether I sin or not. Both suppression and oppression of anger are sinful reactions. I knew expressing rage was wrong but I always thought that by stuffing and swallowing my anger that I was being “Christ-like” by not hurting others. But in reality, I was hurting myself and others with my passive aggressive responses.
God has shown me that I can indeed feel, acknowledge, and express my anger in a Christ-like way when I Pause (realize what I am feeling) Pray (ask Him to help me to understand what was said and whether my feelings are justified) and then allow Him to help me Respond in a loving way. At first, this was very difficult for me because I never wanted to ignite a fight and I always feared the other’s response. But it has been amazing to me how when I choose to Pause, Pray and then Respond how the outcome is so healing in my relationships with others.
I pray that this is helpful to all the suppressors and oppressors (yes it is helpful for them too!) that are reading this. Practice PPR and see the difference it makes in your life and relationships!
Don’t worry about anything,
instead pray about everything.
Tell God what you need,
and thank Him for all He has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand.
PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7 (NLT)
On the journey with you,