January 10, 2014 by AJ Briones
Was there ever a time in your life that you just want a dosage of rage and go amok on frustrating, immature and disrespectful people? Well, to be honest I have. There has been so many times when I wanted to push myself into just letting go and make my emotions get a good hold of me. It is a desire that I experience when I just want a release from the experiences I feel. Don’t you? I guess some of you may have felt the same way. For those who have not, good for you. I hope that one day I can have such patience. But in reality, it is hard. It’s hard to control oneself in the face of an array of obnoxious experiences and sometimes people.
It is quite an “unfortunate” circumstance that we have to face such tiresome experiences but we can never deny the fact that all those things are parts of life. What was said in Ephesians 4:2, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” is really something that is at times easy said than done. It is always a challenge to accept and love people. The truth is that it is a lot easier to let all the stress, anger and annoyance out than to just to let those feelings go far away. In this premise, I would like to make an effort to share hard, difficult things yet liberating truths on how we can say no to the RAGE DOSAGE? Here are some tips I thought of that I hope can be helpful for us:
1) Remember that you are human.
Well, the fact is that we are all human being. A part of the design of God for us is that we will always have feelings and experiences. Remember that being part of being human is the tendency to feel pain and suffering. We have a tendency at times to think that we are the only ones in this world who are feeling or who have felt what we are feeling. Well, here’s a thought, 1st Peter 5:9 talks about temptation and temptation being a general concept that may refer to immorality, malice and even rage, we can get something from it. It says, “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” All human beings feel the same way at times. So let’s not magnify the feelings and box ourselves that we are the only ones experiencing such.
2) Accept the fact that offenses will come.
Here’s an interesting thought: John 15:129 says, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” Remember that as the world hates us, there will always be offenses that will come. Some of those offenses are not intentional but sadly, there will be offenses sent intentionally with or without good intentions. There will always be people who would try to badmouth you. People will do that maybe because you don’t fit their expectations or standards, beause of your image, because of their liking, because of your past, present and past mistakes, because they don’t like your attitude whether its positive negative or something they are not used to and so much more. In battling those here’s an encouragement for all of us. 2nd Corinthians 12:10 mentions, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” In the face of challenges and offenses we have to bear in mind that those make us stronger or in a way, we are already strong enough to through Christ (Philippians 4:13) to face those.
3) Never accommodate negative thoughts.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8, ESV). Negative thoughts can affect us. Though just thoughts for us may have an impact in what we do or even what we can be. As an ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tse mentions, “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” Sometimes thought can come and become an action and at times bigger than that so we have to take care of not allowing our thoughts to take a hold of us.
4) Take a dosage of Empathy
Empathy as defined by Merriam-Webster is the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner. In other words before we say or do something, think and let’s put ourselves in the shoes of others. What would I feel if I were in his/her situation? The Bible says, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” (Colossians 3:12-13, ESV) Take of dosage of
5) Take time to relax.
Have you ever seen a Japanese water fountain? It’s composed of two bamboo shoots with one secure in place and the other like a lever. Water is released from the secure bamboo and the 1 end closed non-secured 2nd bamboo receives the water until it eventually gets filled and tips over throwing the water it accumulated. Well, we are like that. We carry lots of stressors, offenses, pains and anger. When we get fool we tend to tip over and release all the feelings we have, thus we have a picture of rage. Here’s the thing. Take time to unload. Treat yourself with a nice sundae or milk shake, have a massage, watch a movie, go on swimming, spend time with your loved ones, or anything that can make you feel lighter. As Amit Ray, a Himalayan “Yoga” author would say, “Looking beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind.” To be clear, I’m not promoting yoga. Here’s something I promote, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28). Wanna relax? Read your Bible, talk with Jesus.
6) Be aware of consequences.
Whatever we do, big or small always has something to offer in exchange. As Rumpelstiltskin as a character portray on an ABC series would say, “Magic always comes with a price.” So is it with every action we make. Whatever we do simple or complex, big or small can affect us and other people. Think first before we act. We don’t want to regret something after doing it.
7) Have someone accountable.
Can we see everything we do? Are we aware of the conscious activities we do? Of course! That’s why it’s called conscious but the question is; are we aware of the things we do unconsciously or the things we don’t know we should not be doing? That’s why we need someone who is accountable. We need a friend that can tell us if we are going overboard and to affirm us. We need someone where we can share the things that irritate us and someone who knows how to correct us properly. We need real friends and real family; friends and family not just by birth and position but real people who are just willing to share their lives with you. People also with empathy but also know when and how to correct you properly.
8) Be humble and gentle.
Ephesians 4:2 says, “Be completely humble and gentle…” That’s something we all have to remember. There are times when we receive office something within us called pride gets stepped on. Here’s the thing, we have to create in ourselves or let God create in us a hearty of gentleness and humility. Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God…” Let’s ask God to create in us a pure heart. Let’s not make room for negative pride or pride that thinks so highly of ourselves.
9) Be equipped with the right thoughts.
On the third item I mentioned that we should never accommodate negative thoughts and that entails that we have to fill our minds as well with positive thoughts. If there is something negative, scrape it out of your thoughts and think of positive things. I know it may be hard to focus on positive things and we don’t know where to start. Here’s a tip, read your Bible and try memorizing some verses and God’s promises. Memorize those and declare them in times when negative thoughts arise.
10) Re-focus on Love.
The 1st and 2nd commandment in the Christian Bible spoke of only one theme and that is love. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18, NIV). You want to leave rage? Then simply love. When a difficult person does you wrong, remind yourself to love the person. If we would read further to 1 John 4:19 it says, “We love because he first loved us.” Let that be motivated by that. Let’s love and focus on love at times of difficulty in understanding people.
11) Pray about what you feel.
Well, we know the feelings can be intense and reality is that we are not capable of controlling rage without God. Psalm 50:15 says, “And call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.” He’s the one who will enable us to face all the challenges especially with rage. He is our rescue and with Him we can do all things (Philippians 4:13). No one else can feel and understand what you feel more than Jesus. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV). Jesus has overcome the world. He understands and has experienced the pain you have. No one else can relate with you better than He who has overcome it all. Pray to Him and change your life through Him.
I hope that this write-up would be of help to you my readers. Please feel free to give your comments and whatever you may add on the comments section. Together, let’s not let rage rule over us.