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Anger management (2) - FRIDAY 2 JUNE

‘My inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak right things.’ Proverbs 23:16 NKJV

When it comes to practising anger management, here are two important Bible principles:

1) Don’t blame people and things. Blaming is a way of evading responsibility while pointing your finger elsewhere. ‘If only you’d arrive on time, I wouldn’t have to nag you,’ or ‘If you’d stop nagging me, maybe I’d start being on time.’ Words like that don’t help, they just antagonise the other person, perpetuate your anger, and fail to get the results you want.

2) Don’t use words as weapons or a form of control. Instead keep your emotions in check and express them in a healthy way. Remember, your goal is to solve the problem and strengthen the relationship, not leave wounds that fester. Is this easy to do? No – that’s why you need God’s help. The Bible says that your words can crush the other person’s spirit (see Proverbs 18:14), break their heart (see Proverbs 15:4), and destroy the relationship (see Proverbs 18:21).

Solomon said that angry words ‘go down to a man’s inmost parts’ (Proverbs 26:22 NIV 1984 Edition). What you say can live in the memory of another person their whole life – all the way to the grave. Is that what you want? Surely not! On the other hand, anger properly managed never needs to be regretted or repented of. Learn to discern the difference between the anger you feel and the words you speak. Anger can reveal what needs to be changed in the relationship. So ask God to show you what needs changing – first in yourself, then in the other person.