When you were a kid, maybe you once had a fear of monsters underneath your bed or in your closet.  If this wasn’t a personal fear of yours, at least you’ve read a story about monsters that lurk in the night and stalk children while they’re asleep.   These monsters apparently hide or go unnoticed during the day time, until they are ready to perpetrate when it is advantageous for them. You may not have tales of monsters in your childhood, but there is a monster that lurks in the dark inside of each of us, waiting for us to be caught defenseless and unguarded.  This monster is called anger.  It masks itself around others as irritation, criticism, silence, intimidation, petty complaints, sarcasm, blame, and passive-aggressive behavior (Oliver & Oliver, 2007).  This disguise helps anger to exist without the possessor raising red flags to others as having an “anger problem”. If you hide behind disguises, you’re not much different than the person who has an intense and outward anger problem.  Everyone knows the person with the short-temper; who yells, vilifies, bullies, pushes people around, and explodes regularly.  This monster is bold enough to operate in the light and dark.  It does not discriminate when it will strike. But are we familiar with the monster that is two-faced and toggles between acting peacefully and losing control? You know the person who is easily irritated, always feels fed up, offends others and/or is offended often, uptight, has little patience for people, critical, and even pessimistic?  They too, have an anger problem.  They are just craftier in how they demonstrate and aerate their anger. Everyone has the potential to be browbeaten by the emotional monster called anger.  It’s time for you to look under your bed and in your closet and confront your monster.
How to Defeat the Monster:
  1. Confront Yourself Admit you have anger.
  2. Confront the Monster Acknowledge you have given the monster power and a place to hide and kick him/her OUT!
  3. Control Yourself Identify what your anger is really about and how your anger disguises itself & monitor those areas!
  4. Control the Monster Model Christ’s anger management, do the opposite of what the monster wants to do, and study The Fruit of the Spirit; they are antidotes to unhealthy expressions of anger!
Look for The Emotional Monster Part II
Oliver, G., & Oliver, C (2007). Mad About Us. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House.