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What Does It Mean To Control Your Anger?

by Greg Baker  
4/02/2010 / Christian Living

The key to control of your anger is not being in charge of it like you would a child, or an employee, or a car. And I don't think that anger is universally wrong. After all, if there is nothing that makes you angry then there is probably nothing that you love either.

No the key to control of your anger is placing buffers in your mind and emotions that make you very slow to anger. It is the quick temper that is most dangerous. It is the short fuse that more often than not gets us into trouble. It is that flare of anger that makes us react irrationally and do and say things that we regret.

But people who are slow to anger are in much more control of the result of their own anger. If it takes you a long time to get angry, you won't allow your anger to cause you to do something you'll regret.

I'm a Christian and I've found this principle true Biblically and practically as well. Here are a few verses from the Bible that you might find interesting:

Proverbs 15:18 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.

Proverbs 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

Proverbs 14:29 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.

James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

There are many other verses along the same concept. In short, your ability to not have such a quick temper is the goal you are really after in controlling your anger. Anger is a natural part of our emotional set. Naturally, selfish anger leads to many of our problems. And it is this selfish anger that is so quick to surface. But if you can learn to be slow to anger, you'll be in much more control over the results of your anger.

Trying to drive a car at 100 mph down a windy mountain road is probably going to get you killed. But if you drive the same car much slower, so that you have time to analyze each turn in the road and prepare yourself to take the appropriate action, you'll make it down safely.

Anger is much like that. The quick temper will drive us right off the emotional road. Many relationships are destroyed this way. But a person who comes to anger much more slowly is able to stay rational and thoughtful during the course of his anger. This will keep him from making a fatal mistake.

I don't think anger is something that anyone will be able to stash away at leisure. We just aren't built that way. That would be very much like loving someone and then removing your love when it was convenient. People just can't do that.

But you can learn to be slow to anger. That is a much more practical goal.

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