Choose Your Response
"A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare." - Proverbs 15:1 NLT
Yesterday, we looked at those of us who tend to hold our anger in, sometimes allowing bitterness and resentment to build. On the other hand, some of us have more of a tendency to vent our anger immediately. This response could be described as "blowing up" or being "hot under the collar."
The Bible teaches that open hostility, retaliation and any aggressive expression of anger are not acceptable behaviors. "But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips" (Colossians 3:8 NIV). Aggression that explodes in thoughtless anger can hurt others and ourselves.
Consider this …
One step in learning to manage your anger is to describe your feelings. For example, "I am irritated. I am furious." Take time to think through and determine the best thing to say or do in response to the angry feelings. Pray about it. Think about what caused your anger. Learn to give a "gentle answer."
With God's help, carefully choose the proper words and actions to bring some closure and resolution to the issue. Develop a list of responses that work for the best for other people and for you. It is at this level that anger becomes your servant and can be productive.
Father, teach me to respond to people with a gentle answer, rather than harsh words and actions. Teach me wisdom and patience and help me to respond in love and forgiveness. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …
Anger: Our Master or Our Servant by Larry Heath. This study offers a clear explanation of anger, what causes it, and how to recognize when you are sinning with anger. It not only ministers to church members, but serves as a powerful evangelistic tool. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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