"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." (Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT)
"Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city." (Proverbs 16:32 NLT)
Thoughts for Today
The three components of anger are feelings, thoughts, and . . . action. We feel angry and are filled with pent-up energy, pushing to get out. How will we release that energy? Our response is largely controlled by our thoughts. We need to take some kind of action. What will we say and what will we do? Will our response be constructive . . . or destructive?
There are many levels of anger, some much more intense than others. From frustrated to enraged. From ill-tempered to infuriated. From huffy to spiteful. But no matter what degree of anger we experience, we have a choice to make. How will we respond?
Consider this . . .
We can choose words that will inflame the situation . . . or words that will calm and heal. We can spout hateful words to the person who has angered us . . . or we can take time to cool down and then sit down and talk it out. We can bad-mouth the person to others . . . or we can choose to forgive. In Ephesians, Paul says to get rid of harsh words and slander. Rather to be kind and forgiving—just as Christ has loved us and forgiven us, even though we don't deserve it.
The energy produced by our anger can result in punching that person in the nose! Or throwing something at him or her. Or breaking something. But those responses only make matters worse. So much better to be patient than powerful. Today's proverb even says it's better to have self-control than to conquer a city!
Father, when I get angry, help me not to respond with harsh words I know I'll regret. Or with hateful actions. Help me to take time to calm down. To pray about my response. Help me to remember how you have forgiven me and loved me even though I don't deserve it. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …Anger: Our Master or Our Servant by Larry Heath. This study offers a clear explanation of anger, what causes it, and how to recognize when you are sinning with anger. It not only ministers to church members, but serves as a powerful evangelistic tool. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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