You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
Have you ever been angry? Really ticked off? Bitter? Resentful? Ever held a deep grudge against another person? The better question is not “Have you?” but “Are you?” Anger is a God-given emotion. Sometimes it moves us to proper action but left unchecked it is a dangerous emotion. Here are four action steps for controlling anger.
- Pray for a balanced perspective.
When Jesus saw usury in the temple he was moved to indignation and action. He drove out those selling animals and upended the tables of the moneychangers. Sin against God and injustice against man should move us to indignation as well. But in order to keep our emotions in check, we must pray for the Spirit’s control.
- Address anger on a daily basis.
I seldom get through a day that someone or something doesn’t tick me off. Paul says that unchecked anger is the devil’s foothold in our lives. We should ask God to help us deal with our emotions on a daily basis (Eph. 4:26-27).
- Stay away from angry people.
Some people are always angry about something. Stay away from them. They will drag you down (Prov. 22:24-25).
- Confront and forgive.
Confront the person or situation causing your anger. If it is a person, discuss the issue and choose to forgive. If it is a situation, give it to the Lord and ask the Holy Spirit to control your emotions.
Let’s talk to God about anger.
O Father, I can get angry about many things and my emotions can rise quickly. Please control my feelings. Help me to not react. Help me feel indignation for the right things and be moved to honor you in my actions. Help me forgive and move from resentment and bitterness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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