Dating back over 3500 years, the Bible began as a collection of oral stories handed down from generation to generation in the form of songs, narratives, and poetry. Eventually signs and symbols were utilized in a more permanent means of recording these stories until the written word became the primary method . It wasn't until many years after the death of Christ that the New Testament was added to the original Bible now referred to as the Old Testament. While most people who read the Bible are believers, one needn't be in order to find value in the written Word. For the purpose of this blog we will be examining ten passages which address the issue of anger.
26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold."
You've heard me say many times that anger is a normal, useful, and even important feeling. Every emotion we experience plays a vital role in helping us to understand who we are and how we interact with the outside world. Acknowledge that you are angry but do not hold on to it. Repressed anger can lead to all types of health issues, interfere with our happiness, cloud good judgment, and damage relationships. Acknowledge it, express it respectfully (if necessary), use it for constructive purposes, and let it go.
29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
How often do we hurt others verbally when we are angry or upset? We belittle them, curse at them, criticize or are nasty, rude or disrespectful. While the emotion may be justifiable, mistreating others never is. Calm down before you speak so that your words may be gracious and uplifting - always.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice."
In the event that the situation you are angry about or the person you are upset with does not change to your liking, do not allow your feelings to progress to bitterness, rage or any type of malicious behavior. You will certainly damage your own sense of well-being, your reputation, and most definitely the feelings of the other party. Acceptance of that which and who we cannot change allows us to experience inner peace.
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires."
How many of us follow this advice in the reverse? Anger is our primary response as we act out verbally or physically. However, when we take a moment and listen or ask questions to learn more about an incident or what the other person is trying to convey to us, we actually foster a better understanding, thus preventing anger from manifesting.
11 "Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end."
Few people admire those who become aggressive when angry. It takes far more integrity to remain calm in the face of anger and in that regard earn the respect of those around you.
20 " ...because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires."
Anger is one of the most powerful emotions relevant to mankind. However, high level emotions cloud rational judgment and few people behave in a righteous manner when acting out. It is far more prudent to live as God dictates rather than to succumb to a moment's rage.
11 A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense."
Before I allow myself to become upset with someone or over an incident, I consult my 10-year Rule: will this issue matter in ten years? If the answer is "no" then I let it go. In that regard, I am able to overlook a lot that is insignificant, thus maintaining my sense of peace and happiness.
Ecclesiastes 7:9New International Version
9"Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools."
Do you allow others to push your buttons and make you angry? Don't be fooled into believing that others cause you to become angry. It is a personal choice each of us makes. All emotions originate in our thought process so carefully choose your thoughts and you will choose the corresponding feelings as well.
Proverbs 15:1, 15:18
15 "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."
18 "A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel."
In responding to any angry person, a gentle comment has the ability to calm them down. Consider an understanding response that illustrates your concern for their feelings and well-being.
24 "Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered."
Proverbs warns us to avoid those who are hot-headed and irate. They present an atmosphere conducive to stress, fighting, and harm. Do not be that person nor associate with them. Surround yourself with those who are loving and peaceful.
As you can see, there is a lot of valuable instructions regarding anger. One need not believe in God to find some suggestions that will greatly benefit them. Put some faith in these words of wisdom. The are designed to keep our relationships and world safe and to enable us to live peacefully within ourselves.
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Janet Pfeiffer, international inspirational speaker and award-winning author has appeared on CNN, Lifetime, ABC News, The 700 Club, NBC News, Fox News, The Harvest Show, Celebration, TruTV and many others. She’s been a guest on over 100 top radio shows (including Fox News Radio), is a contributor to Ebru Today TV and hosts her own radio show, Anger 911, on www.Anger911.net and Between You and God (iHeartRadio.com).
Janet's spoken at the United Nations, Notre Dame University, was a keynote speaker for the YWCA National Week Without Violence Campaign, and is a past board member for the World Addiction Foundation.
She's a former columnist for the Daily Record and contributing writer to Woman’s World Magazine, Living Solo, Prime Woman Magazine, and N.J. Family. Her name has appeared in print more than 100 million times, including The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Alaska Business Monthly and more than 50 other publications.
A consultant to corporations including AT&T, U.S. Army, U.S. Postal Service, and Hoffman-LaRoche, Janet is N.J. State certified in domestic violence, an instructor at a battered women's shelter, and founder of The Antidote to Anger Group. She specializes in healing anger and conflict and creating inner peace and writes a weekly blog and bi-monthly newsletter.
Janet has authored 8 books, including the highly acclaimed The Secret Side of Anger (endorsed by NY Times bestselling author, Dr. Bernie Siegel).
Read what Marci Shimoff, New York Times bestselling author, says of Janet's latest book, The Great Truth; Shattering Life's Most Insidious Lies That Sabotage Your Happiness Along With the Revelation of Life's Sole Purpose:
"Janet dispels the lies and misconceptions many people have lived by and outlines a practical path to an extraordinary life beyond suffering. Written with honesty, clarity, sincerity, and humor, this book serves as a wonderful guide for anyone seeking a more enriching and fulfilling life.”
Dr. Bernie Siegel says, "All books of wisdom are meant to be read more than once. The Great Truth is one such book."