Counter other peoples’ anger with a gentle answer


God’s spirit can give us the strength we need to overcome anger. His spirit will guide us.

That’s what Isaiah 30:21 is talking about: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way. Walk in it.’”

How would it change things if, the next time you were prone to anger, you decided to listen for God’s voice and depend on His strength to help you avoid an angry tirade?

The problem is that sometimes, we don’t want to listen. We just want to fully express our anger by throwing a fit. We know that is not God’s will for any of us.

The Bible tells us to exercise self-control. Self-control is really a sign of maturity. Have you noticed that when adults give full vent to their anger, it looks a lot like an adult version of a 2-year-old temper tantrum? You don’t have to go there.

I am thankful that in those moments when anger tries to take over in my life, by the grace of God, I can lean into a power that is much greater, much stronger and much wiser than my own.

Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” We have all noticed how anger seems to escalate. Voices get louder as people get angrier. You don’t have to do that. Be willing to humble yourself and offer a gentle answer and put a stop to the fight.

You can decide not to speak those harsh words. You can decide to walk away and not speak at all. And by that, I don’t mean storm out and slam the door. You can take a time out to cool off. You can come back and talk when you have better control of your emotions.

With God’s help, you can keep your anger in check. The question is, will you listen to and apply the word of God? Will you allow God’s spirit to direct you? How will you respond when the Holy Spirit is nudging you toward giving a gentle answer?

How will you respond when you know you should keep your mouth shut or walk away? How will you respond the next time you are tempted to throw that adult version of a 2-year-old temper tantrum? Will you decide to do the mature thing and exercise self-control? Are you willing to admit that you have a choice to make when it comes to how you handle your anger?

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