Losing our temper at others doesn’t always mean we shout. Sometimes we can use silence as a way to hurt the other person. It’s wise to keep control of our anger, but when we’re deliberately ignoring someone because we’re angry at them, we’re not controlling our anger any better than someone who verbally expresses their feelings. The Bible says, ‘Foolish people lose their tempers, but wise people control theirs.’ We’re called to be spiritually mature. And part of being mature is to handle our anger well. There will always be things that cause us to feel angry, but we have a choice in the way we handle it. The Bible has a lot of verses to help us when we’re trying to deal with our anger: 1) ‘Better…one with self-control than one who takes a city’ (Proverbs 16:32 NIV). 2) ‘A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offence’ (Proverbs 19:11 NIVUK). 3) ‘Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools’ (Ecclesiastes 7:9 NIV). 4) ‘Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness…God desires’ (James 1:19-20 NIV). 5) ‘Get rid of all bitterness, rage…anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you’ (Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV). Anger can often cause bitterness and resentment to build up in our lives. But the Bible tells us to forgive people. That’s not always easy, especially if something has really upset us. But God will give us the strength we need to control our anger, forgive the person, and move on from the experience.
Choose one of the verses in today’s reading and memorise it. Next time you feel anger rising up, say the verse to yourself.
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