Controlling our anger is a challenge that we all face at some point in our lives. Whether it’s a disagreement with a friend, a frustrating situation at work, or a difficult family member, anger can quickly take hold and lead us down a path of negative thoughts and actions. As Christians, we are called to live a life of love, joy, and peace, and controlling our anger is an important part of that calling. In this blog post, we will explore what the Bible says about controlling anger and practical steps we can take to apply these teachings to our lives.
The Bible is full of examples of people who struggled with anger, from Moses to David to Jonah. However, it also provides guidance on how to control our anger. We are reminded that anger itself is not a sin, but it is how we respond to it that can lead to sin. Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back.” Similarly, Ecclesiastes 7:9 says, “Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.” By exploring these and other teachings, we can learn how to control our anger in a way that is pleasing to God.
In this blog post, we will discuss practical steps we can take to control our anger, including practicing self-control, praying for guidance, practicing forgiveness, seeking counseling if necessary, and practicing humility. By following these steps, we can learn to control our anger and respond to situations with love, grace, and patience. Remember, controlling our anger is a process that requires effort and practice, but with the help of God, we can learn to live a life that reflects His love to others.
Understanding Anger in the Bible
The Bible is full of examples of people who struggled with anger, including Moses (Exodus 32:19-20), David (2 Samuel 12:5-6), and Jonah (Jonah 4:1-4). However, the Bible also gives us guidance on how to control our anger. Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back.” Similarly, Ecclesiastes 7:9 says, “Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.”
In the New Testament, James 1:19-20 says, “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” This passage reminds us that our anger does not produce righteousness, and we should be slow to become angry. Similarly, Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” This passage emphasizes the importance of putting away our anger and being kind and forgiving to one another.
The Consequences of Uncontrolled Anger
Uncontrolled anger can have serious consequences in our lives. It can lead to broken relationships, physical violence, and emotional turmoil. Proverbs 15:18 says, “A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention.” When we give in to our anger, we can create strife and conflict in our relationships. In extreme cases, uncontrolled anger can even lead to criminal behavior. Proverbs 29:22 says, “An angry man stirs up strife, And a furious man abounds in transgression.” This verse reminds us that our anger can lead us to break God’s commandments and commit sin.
In addition to the external consequences of uncontrolled anger, it can also have negative effects on our own well-being. Proverbs 14:29 says, “He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly.” When we give in to our anger, we can become irrational and make poor decisions. This can lead to regret, guilt, and shame. In contrast, when we control our anger, we demonstrate wisdom and understanding.
Practical Steps to Control Anger
While the Bible gives us guidance on how to control anger, it can still be difficult to apply these teachings to our lives. Here are some practical steps we can take to control our anger:
1. Practice Self-Control
Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23), and it is essential for controlling our anger. When we feel angry, we should take a step back and practice self-control. We can do this by taking deep breaths, counting to ten, or even walking away from the situation until we have calmed down. Proverbs 25:28 says, “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls.” This verse reminds us that if we do not have self-control, we are vulnerable to attack and can easily be overcome by our emotions.
2. Pray for Guidance
We should pray for guidance when we feel angry. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” When we pray, we invite God into our situation, and He can give us the wisdom and guidance we need to control our anger. Psalm 4:4 says, “Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.” This verse encourages us to take time to reflect on our anger and bring it to God in prayer.
3. Practice Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a key component of controlling our anger. When we hold onto anger and refuse to forgive others, we allow bitterness to take root in our hearts. Matthew 6:14-15 says, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” We should practice forgiveness and ask God to help us let go of our anger and bitterness. Colossians 3:13 says, “Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”
4. Seek Counseling
Sometimes, controlling our anger requires more than just self-help techniques and prayer. If you find that you are struggling to control your anger, it may be helpful to seek counseling or therapy. A Christian counselor can provide guidance and support as you work through the underlying issues that may be contributing to your anger. Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.” Seeking counseling shows wisdom and humility in recognizing that we need help to overcome our struggles.
5. Practice Humility
Proverbs 16:32 says, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” Controlling our anger requires humility and a willingness to admit when we are wrong. When we approach situations with humility, we are more likely to respond to them with patience and understanding rather than anger. James 4:6 says, “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.'” When we approach situations with humility, we open ourselves up to God’s grace and guidance.
Controlling our anger is an essential part of living a Christian life. The Bible gives us guidance on how to control our anger, but it requires effort and practice to apply these teachings to our lives. By practicing self-control, praying for guidance, practicing forgiveness, seeking counseling if necessary, and practicing humility, we can learn to control our anger and respond to situations with love, grace, and patience.
Remember, anger itself is not a sin, but it is how we respond to it that can lead to sin. We should strive to respond to situations with love and patience, even when we feel angry. As Christians, we are called to live a life of love, and controlling our anger is an important part of that calling.
In summary, let us heed the words of James 1:19-20 and be “slow to speak, slow to wrath,” and instead “let every man be swift to hear.” Let us practice self-control, pray for guidance, practice forgiveness, seek counseling if necessary, and practice humility as we strive to control our anger and live a life that is pleasing to God.
Controlling our anger is not easy, but it is possible with the help of God. We should turn to Him in prayer and seek His guidance and wisdom as we work to control our anger. We should also be patient with ourselves and recognize that controlling our anger is a process that requires effort and practice. Let us strive to live a life of love, grace, and patience, and control our anger in a way that honors God and reflects His love to others.
Finally, let us remember the words of Proverbs 14:29, “He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly.” Let us be slow to become angry and demonstrate the understanding and wisdom that comes from controlling our emotions. By doing so, we can live a life that is pleasing to God and bring glory to His name.