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One of the biggest challenges we face as men is learning to handle our anger appropriately. We know we cant bottle it up and pretend it isnt there; dont let the sun go down on your anger the apostle Paul said. But what do we do about it? Chuck Swindoll offers us some good and Godly advice from Gods Handbook on Holy Living, Proverbs.
What do we do about anger? When it comes from a wrong motive, when we dont get our own way, when we act in hasteanger is sin. What practical things does God say about dealing with anger? Scripture offers four specific directives in the book of Proverbs. Lets cover them quickly.
- Learn to ignore petty disagreements.
A mans discretion makes him slow to anger,
Perhaps it is better rendered in the Berkeley Version.
And it is his glory to overlook a transgression
It is prudent for a man to restrain his anger; it is his glory to overlook an offense (MLB).
In Gods eyes, it is glory if you are big enough to overlook an offense. Dont look for a fight, Christian. Keep the chip off your shoulder. Dont be defensive about your point or your right. Be willing to give.
Proverbs 17:14 says essentially the same thing. I like this verse.
The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out.
Just as in the tango, it takes two to quarrel. If you see that there is an angry disagreement coming, back off; leave it. Learn to ignore petty differences.
- Refrain from close association with anger prone people. Dont hang around them.
Do not associate with a man given to anger,
Or go with a hot-tempered man,
Lest you learn his ways,
And find a snare for yourself
Are you becoming an angry person because youre associating closely with angry people? The Scripture says, Dont do it!
- Keep very close check on your tongue.
Washington Irving made this statement, The only edged tool that gets sharper with use is the tongue. It isnt your leg muscle thats the strongest muscle in your body; its the muscle in your mouth. Control your tongue. It will literally turn away wrath.
- Cultivate honesty in communication
let anger build up.
Take a close look at Proverbs 27:4-6.
Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood,
But who can stand before jealousy?
Better is open rebuke
Than love that is concealed.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.
We evoke anger when we have deceived someone else with our words for our own benefit. When they realize they've been had, theyre not just angry, but weve betrayed them.
HEARTLIGHT(sm) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover
Hills church of Christ.
HEARTLIGHT and the flared heart design are service marks of Heartlight, Inc.
Copyright © 1997, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive,
Austin, TX 78759.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Taken from the booklet Anger: The Burning Fuse of Hostility (Zondervan Publishing House, 1995). It is available online from Worthy Books, at your local bookstore, or by calling 1-800-727-3480. Used by permission.
Design copyright © 1997, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
May be reprinted and reused for non-commercial purposes only if copyright credits are appropriately displayed.