This may come as a shock to you, but I can be a bit of a hot head. My family jokes about the Wallace temper. We’ve passed anger and rage down for generations and it diffidently did not skip over me. I have always said that I just feel everything too much and before Jesus’ sanctifying work in my life, it never took much to send me over the edge.
When I became a Christian and decided to follow Christ, I was taught that my anger was a problem. I had to learn how to handle my anger and emotions in a way that was healthy.
Life throws all kind of crazy at us ALL the time. If you are anything like me, anger is a quick response to the chaos. One of my biggest hang ups was figuring out what to do with all my anger once it shows up. I am going to share some verses of scripture about anger. I am also going to share some of my favorite tips and tricks for dealing with anger when it shows up.
The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Psalm 145:8
First things first, anger is not a sin. Anger is an emotion. God gave us the capacity to be angry. God even gets angry. We are capable of anger because we are reflections of Him.
Notice though that God is SLOW to get angry. He doesn’t have a short fuse. He doesn’t fly off the handle and scream, yell and do things He’ll regret later. He is in control of His emotions as we are capable of being.
And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. Mark 3:5
Jesus even got angry. The religious people around Him were unkind and had no compassion. They dangled a person with a disability in front of Him just to accuse Him of working on a sabbath day. Jesus was angry about how cruel and cold they were.
When we see injustice, partiality, oppression and the like, we should be moved to anger. When bad things happen, anger is an appropriate response.
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27
The problem lies in what you choose to do with your anger. Be careful not to allow anger to grow into wrath and rage which causes you to act out with vengeance and bitterness. This verse reminds us to deal with what has caused us anger quickly. Get it resolved as soon as possible. Don't let it fester and grow.
If someone has upset you find a healthy was to talk it out. If you see someone being treated unfairly, speak up. Don't back down from standing up for what is right. If it not something that can easily be fixed then you are going to have to give it to God and trust Him to help you work through it.
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
There are plenty of really good reasons to get angry. There is so much pain and injustice in the world. Unfortunately usually we are quicker to get angry when our own foolish pride is hurt than we are when truing unrighteous things are happening around us.
Learning to control your temper is essential. Luckily God has made that possible.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:19-21
God loves you. He wants the best for you. He doesn’t play games. When He tells us to do something or not to do something, He does so because it's possible for us to comply. He doesn’t give us impossible tasks. Even things that seem impossible for us to accomplish by ourselves are totally possible when we are partnering with Him.
When He says be quick to hear, He does so because we are capable of listening well. When He says be slow to speak, He does so because you are capable of holding your tongue and not spouting off at the mouth. When He says be slow to anger, He does so because you are capable of controlling your temper.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
God has equipped you to be victorious and to have an abundant life full of patience and peace! He has made you long-suffering and gentle with tons of self control. The fruit of the Spirit is in you. Now it may still be little saplings and that could be why you don’t see much of them. With lots of prayer and reading the Word of God these saplings will grow and grow and produce.
Okay here are some tips on how to overcome anger and control your temper from a former hot head.
Sounds crazy and it may not be for everyone, but this one REALLY helped me! I took up knitting and crocheting when I first got saved and wanted to work through my fits of anger. It kept my hands and mind busy long enough for me to work through my emotions. Find yourself a hobby that you can invest time into when your emotions are raging.
Praise is such a powerful thing you guys. It’s a sound of victory. You need to put together a playlist of powerful worship music. Check out Bethel Music, Jesus Culture, or Hillsong. If you want you can just listen this playlist I made you guys a few weeks ago called 10 Songs for When You Feel Alone.
3. Solo Movie
This one is new to me! I just used it the other night actually. I was upset about a few different things I just needed a minute to not think so that my emotions could settle and I could then step back and reevaluate the situation. You know what happened? By the time I walked out of the movie the issue that I was so upset about before seemed so much smaller. Go do something that will give you time to calm down and think thing through.
4. Time Out
Full disclosure: I haven't actually tried this one because I just thought of it and suggested it to my husband yesterday but I am pretty excited about it. The idea is the acknowledged right to call a time out. This is for when you are in some intense fellowship (aka an argument) and it’s getting too heated and emotional for anything productive to come from it, but you really need resolution. Call a time out. Have a set time period for it. We’re going with three minutes but you do you. Give each other three minutes (or however much time you’ve settled on) to calm down and regroup. Then try the conversation again. Use those three minutes to pray and really ask God to help you be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to get angry.
That’s right. Just walk outside and let it all out. Scream your anger out then move on to tip 6.
6. Trust God
Sometime things are going to make you angry and there is not going to be anything you can do about it in that moment. People you love may get hurt and the legal system could talk way longer than you'd like to issue justice. Sometime we don’t see justice at all. People will make choices that affect you and your loved ones that aren’t fair. These things suck.
It’s in these moments that you have to trust God. Trust that He’ll work everything out. Trust that He sees and cares and has promised that someday He will make ALL things right.
I really hope these verses and ideas help you. Feel free to share this with any other hot heads you may know! If you might also like this post on Verses for Overcoming Bitterness or this post about Being A Better Person. I mean...I'm sure you're great, but we all have room to grow right? ;P
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Thank you guys for reading!! I’ll see you soon!!