This week’s studies made me think about conflict within marriage and relationships. There are many times in my life where I may get into conflict with others including those that are close to me. 3 Nephi 29 tells us that contention is not of God, “For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.” I think there are many factors that contribute to contention in my own experience. For me I feel like the biggest contributor is pride.
In “Agency and Anger” by Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy, he points out that being angry is a conscious decision. In the article Elder Robbins points out that nobody can make us mad. We can make the choice to not become angry. Elder Robbins states, “A cunning part of his strategy is to dissociate anger from agency, making us believe that we are victims of an emotion that we cannot control “.
It’s interesting when we look at anger as an emotion that we are in control of. The choice to make a decision as to whether or not we allow ourselves to become angry is always there for us. Elder Robbins states “Anger is an uncivil attempt to make another feel guilty or a cruel way of trying to correct them. It is often mislabeled as discipline but is almost always counterproductive”. This quote about anger made me realize that most of my moments of anger are motivated by the wrong reasons and attempting to serve the wrong purpose.
We all can benefit by not allowing anger to control our emotions and dictate how interactions go in our relationships. It’s important to remember that how hard it may be at times we have a choice to make in becoming angry and allowing something to push us to that point. By controlling anger we can have better interactions without others, be less stressed, and better our communication.
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