The way the Bible talks about anger shows us that it’s natural for us to become angry. James 1:19 says: ‘You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry’ (NLT). We’re all going to become angry at some points in our lives, but we need to think about how often it’s happening, and how easily it’s happening. If we’re regularly losing our temper at people or situations, we need to stop and reflect on whether we need to make some changes. We should be ‘slow to anger,’ rather than losing our temper as soon as something happens which frustrates us. If we’re becoming angry quickly and easily, we need to ask ourselves these two questions: 1) Are we triggered by specific situations? We need to deal with those triggers. We can do that by asking God to help us cope in those situations, seeking professional help, or dealing with the underlying issues we’re struggling with which lead us to be triggered by the situation. 2) Is anger building up in our hearts until we erupt? If things are building up, we need to start learning to let go of anger and frustration so that we’re not filling our hearts with more and more anger until it comes out. The Bible says: ‘The mouth speaks what the heart is full of’ (Luke 6:45 NIV). When our heart is full of anger, it’s going to start overflowing into all areas of our lives. We need to regularly ask God to help us clean out our hearts. We should be forgiving others, and working to remove any resentment and frustration that has built up.
Next time you respond angrily to something or someone, reflect on the experience using the two questions in the reading.
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