“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” Ephesians 4:33
Anger– you know what it is. We all have felt it at different times. Anger may be a good emotion if you want to be honest in situations or stand for something you believe in.
Well, that mantra says ‘too much of anything is bad’. Starting as a harmless feeling, anger can likewise grow into something dangerous and hard to control. It can lead to problems at work, personal relationships, and the overall quality of your life, thus negatively affecting your spiritual, emotional, and even physical life. It can then be said that anger is not a sin—it is what you do with it that becomes sin.
“A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.” Proverbs 11:17
It is God’s will for us to control our anger. Not only that, self-control is listed plainly in the Scriptures as a fruit of the Spirit in us. In Ephesians 4:33, it is implied that there should be some way one is able to cut that anger out so it would not last any longer. And truly, there are ways.
Managing your Anger: How to Stay Cool, Calm & Collected
1. Identify your triggers
It would be beneficial to identify what exactly triggers those angry emotions. You can then avoid them. If avoiding does not work, you can as well shift your focus on resolving the issue at hand. However, you need to be realistic about what you can and cannot change, since some things may be out of your radar. Also, be reminded that anger may not also fix anything.
2. Re-evaluate It
James 1:19-20 says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry because human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.”
God’s way of dealing with anger is to be slow to anger. You must acknowledge that offences would come and come. In fact, sufficient to each day is its own evil (offences). Hence, you need to roll off of your shoulders and not internalize people’s actions. When you re-evaluate a person’s words or actions, you often find that there’s no need to get angry as that person really did not intend to hurt you or was merely acting out of their own biases, which is not a reflection of you. I would also recommend you count down (or up) to 10. While you are counting, your heart rate will slow and the anger will likely subside.
3. Restrain It
Proverbs 29:11 “Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.” This verse does not imply that wise people hide their wrath or ignore it; rather, it means that they have control over their anger and how they show it.
4. Set Your Will to Forgive
Colossians 3:13 bear with one another, and forgive one another if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, you also must do.
Realistically, it often takes time to really feel forgiveness, especially when the wound suffered is deep. But God is gracious. When we make the heart commitment to no longer hold offenses against your offenders, God brings our feelings into line with the reality of that forgiveness, and that would help dissipate the anger.
5. Release It
Colossians 3:8 says, “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”
When you deal with anger God’s way, you feel it, and vent it in a safe way. There are several anger-releasing mechanisms you can employ. You can go for a walk, talk to a third party, exercise, stretch, play some tunes, or write a journal. You can also find words that help you calm down and repeat the word again and again to yourself when upset. This may include, “Relax”, “Take it easy”, “You will be okay”, and so on,
6. Read the Proverbs
Be renewed daily. Constantly immerse yourself in the Scriptures, particularly the book of Proverbs. Solomon shared more than enough wisdom about the foolishness of losing one’s cool. Thus, reading one chapter of Proverbs everyday will serve as a constant reminder of the folly of our anger and the wisdom of learning self-control.
There is this fact. Anything God calls Christians to do, He empowers through his Spirit. You need to ask the Lord to empower you to exercise self-control and flee the sin of anger. Praying is acknowledging one’s need for help, which will come as promised.
8. Get Accountability
You must first understand that you are accountable to God for your attitudes, thoughts, words, and deeds. After that, it is good to seek out other Christians to help in the journey. They can ask pointed questions, and correct you when necessary.
Summarily, anger management requires nurture and attention. Learn to walk in the Spirit in obedience to God. Rely on His strength, and you will see increasing victories over your anger.
I have some questions for you for reflection:
1. What has been the most difficult aspect for you in controlling your anger? How can you deal with it?
2. Can you control your feelings?
3. At what point do your angry feelings become sin?
4. God asks Cain (Gen. 4:6), “Why are you angry?” How can asking yourself that question help you deal with your anger?