“Be…slow to speak and slow to become angry.” Jas 1:19 NIV
Here’s how to control your anger: (1) Think before you react. Our reactions are often based more on feelings than facts. Someone says or does something, and we suddenly feel angry and assume they “made” us feel that way. No, you made yourself angry by telling yourself, “Who do they think they are?” “I don’t have to take that.” “I’ll show them who’s in charge!” Your self-talk triggered your anger. “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” To break anger’s negative cycle, practice saying to yourself, “Stop!” Then don’t react until you ask the person to clarify their words or actions. Say, “I want to understand. Please explain what you meant by…” By listening to understand, you interrupt your anger build-up and gain self-control. (2) Don’t “speak your mind” when you’re angry. An old Irish poem says, “We’re constantly hearing O’Flannagan say, ‘I gave him a piece of my mind.’ And it isn’t surprising with so much gone, that so little remains behind!” The Bible says, “The tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do” (Jas 3:5 TLB). You won’t find a receptive audience when you’re enraged; people will just resist or discount your accusations and get angry in response. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Pr 15:1 NIV). Take a breather, and try a gentle response when you’re calm. (3) Avoid angry people. Like a bad virus, they infect you, especially if you have anger issues. “Don't hang out with angry people; don't keep company with hotheads. Bad temper is contagious—don’t get infected” (Pr 22:24-25 TM).
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