Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Psalm 4:4 (NLT)
Sometimes I think that if I followed these instructions, I’d be going to bed early every night (probably before the sun set). And I wouldn’t be talking much.
Dealing with anger and irritability has plagued me my whole life. I can’t really say I lose my temper. I find it. A lot. And willingly share it with whoever is around. Just ask my wife and kids.
I’ve asked myself why I let things get to me so easily. Fear? The need to be in control? As I’ve meditated on this passage of Scripture, I’ve learned it doesn’t really matter. Sometimes, knowing why just provides an excuse. And I have moved past excuses.
I’m finding I need to train myself to turn to this verse. My prayer is for the Holy Spirit to bring it to my remembrance each time my temper wants to go for a ride. Silence is a good thing. My words just add fuel to the fire.
But my thoughts also need to be under the control of the Spirit. Thoughts may not be spoken but they are expressed in body language and actions. A “good” pout says a lot. None of it helpful.
By focusing on the Scripture instead of on my anger, I can consciously take steps to control my thoughts, words and actions. And it’s been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s actually a daily, moment-by-moment decision. Like when I quit smoking with the decision not to have this cigarette and then repeat that decision every time the desire arose.
When anger flares, I look to think on this Scripture and on Colossians 1:11 (NLT) I am strengthened with God’s glorious power and I have all the endurance and patience I need. And I am filled with God’s joy. (emphasis added)
How do you handle those nasty traits we don’t like in ourselves?