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I was about 45 years old and still suffering from the painful abuse I experienced as a child when I felt an unquestionable urge to confront my dad. God was showing me that facing my abuser was the only way to break the cycle of fear in my life.
It was extremely hard for me to do because I knew I would experience his anger again, and I did. But I also accomplished what God was leading me to do. And it helped me break free.
We must always do the part God leads us to do, no matter how the other party reacts.
Most of you reading this aren't dealing with the kind of person I'm talking about, but you do encounter angry people in your life. Some of you are in relationship with someone who is angry.
Because an angry man dictated my life for so many years, I was angry and vented my anger through my words and attitudes. My anger manifested frequently when things didn't go my way. I was wrong, and I needed godly confrontation.
One of the best things my husband, Dave, did for me was not allow my anger to make him unhappy. He never let me steal his joy. He let me know that if I wanted to be unhappy that was up to me, but he was going to be happy either way. He was consistent for a long period of time, and I finally realized that I was missing a lot in life. I needed to change.
Because I had never lived in a stable atmosphere, I didn't know what it looked like. Dave was an example of stability to me, and that was extremely important. Had he merely told me to stop being angry and responded to my anger with anger of his own, I don't think I would have ever changed. As they say, "Two wrongs don't make a right."
According to God's Word, we are not to confront anger with anger, evil with evil, or insult with insult. See Peter 3:9.
I am well aware that doing this is more difficult than reading about it, but anything God asks us to do, He will give us the strength to do if we are willing to obey Him. God does have the solution to any problem we have, and His ways always work if we will cooperate with Him.
I believe one of the best things you can do for an angry person is to show them by example that there is a better way to live and behave. But nobody can change until they want to. If you try to change people in your life yourself, it will only frustrate you. Only God changes people from the inside out, and He does it in His timing.
So pray for the people you know who struggle with anger to let God work in their lives, and be an example of peace and stability to them!
When I say at my conferences that we should not let someone else's attitude determine our level of joy, I always get an amazing response. I can see from the audience's faces that some of them have done that without even realizing they had another choice.
Can we really be joyful when other people we are around are angry and unhappy?
Yes, we can if we set our mind to do so. Just maintain a calm delight in their presence. Assure them that you love them and want them to be happy, but you're not going to let their decisions dictate your quality of life. In other words, don't become codependent of someone else's behavior.
Don't give up hope for angry people in your life. They obviously are hurt or have something wrong in their past that's causing the anger. Pray and continue to pray that they will see the truth and begin to walk in the light. See Matthew 7:7.
I believe when we pray, God works! Sometimes we'll get answers immediately and other times we will pray for what seems like a lifetime. Be committed to keep praying and thanking God that He is working in the lives of people even if you aren't yet seeing results.
This article is taken from Joyce's book, Do Yourself a Favor… Forgive.