Anger: Reflect Before You Respond_370
By Rick Warren
— September 8, 2009
“A rebel shouts in anger; a wise man holds his temper in and cools it” (Proverbs 29:11 TLB).
When you’re angry, don’t respond impulsively. Delay is a great tool in controlling anger. I'm not saying delay indefinitely, or even beyond a day; the Bible says don't go to sleep when you're angry. I'm talking about delaying it for five minutes.
When you start to get ticked off, you take ‘time out’ for a few minutes. Give yourself some time to stop, reflect and think it through. If you don't stop and think, you are likely to do the wrong thing. You need to reflect before you respond.
When we get angry, we need to get in the habit of stepping back, waiting a few minutes, and, then, look at the situation from God's point of view. Notice the Bible says a wise man lets his anger cool down (Proverbs 29:11). So ‘cool it’ is a Biblical term! A modern translation might be: “The wise man waits and chills out.” Thomas Jefferson, the author of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, said, “When angry, count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.”
While you’re cooling down, ask yourself three questions to help you understand why you are angry:
• Why am I angry?
• What do I really want?
• How can I get it?
Understanding the reason for your anger will give you greater patience and, perhaps, even the ability to overlook an offense (Proverbs 19:11).