Anger: Reflect Before You Respond

"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, take "time out" for a few minutes. Give yourself some time to reflect and think through the situation. 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 make a habit of stepping back, waiting a few minutes, and then looking at the situation from God's point of view. Notice how 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 Declaration of Independence, said, “When angry, count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.”

Talk About It

Understanding the reason for your anger will give you greater patience and perhaps even the ability to overlook an offense (Proverbs 19:11). 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?

 

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

 


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