“My wife knows how to push my buttons,” said a frustrated husband.
I smiled, and said, “Why don’t you get rid of all of the buttons, and then she won’t have anything to push.”
Years go the Lord showed me that a lot of anger comes from pride. Those buttons I was talking about all have to do with pride. Once you learn to humble yourself, you will be amazed how the anger also disappears.
When it comes to living the life of a saint, anger should not be one of the driving forces in your life. Love, joy, peace and humility are the driving forces in the life of a saint. Yet many believers seem to be angry all the time.
If this is an issue in your life, how do you make the necessary adjustments to get rid of anger?
The first key to removing anger is to learn to identify what is causing you to be angry. By being able to recognize those triggers, you will be able to avoid them, and replace them with the right attitude.
The Apostle Paul wrote:
” ‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27 NKJV).
All of us get angry at one time or another, but how many of us allow that anger to stew for days and days. Paul said that we should not allow the sun to go down on our wrath. In other words learn to cool down as quickly as possible. Don’t let it go on for days and days. Learn to let it go. Personally, I have learned to give myself about thirty seconds to cool down. I often do this by laughing at the situation that caused me to get angry in the first place. You will be amazed how quickly laughter will cure you of feeling angry!
Notice that Paul also warns that anger can give the devil an opportunity to get a foothold in your life. He is always looking for a way to bring you into bondage in one way or another. Unresolved anger can lead you into bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. It can also lead you into saying harsh words that you may wish you had never said.
The Apostle Paul wrote:
“Let no corrupt word proceed from your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29 NKJV).
The margin or one of my Bibles noted that the word “corrupt” could be translated “rotten.” When we are angry, we can often say rotten words that cause a lot of hurt and pain in the person we are addressing. The key is not to let any rotten words proceed from your mouth at any time. If you practice this when you are calm, then you will also practice this when you are angry. It is all a matter of making an adjustment in the way you speak.
The next thing Paul wrote was:
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31 NKJV).
Evil speaking is saying evil things about other people. If you practice never saying anything evil about someone else, you will find that you will have a lot less issue with anger. When we are constantly trying to find fault in others, it causes anger, bitterness and resentment to build up on the inside. By learning to only say nice things about those around us, we will find that we have a lot less anger to deal with in our hearts. We will also be a lot more tender hearted toward others.
Finally the Apostle Paul wrote:
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV).
One thing I have practiced in my life is instant forgiveness. If someone says something that offends me, I forgive them instantly, and I do not take any offense by what they say. I do it so much that I often do it subconsciously, however there are times I have to purposely do it. I will tell the Lord, “Father, I forgive them for saying that.” If you practice that attitude, you will find yourself doing it all the time. You will even find yourself doing it automatically.
Anger does not have to rule your life. Love, joy, peace and forgiveness should always rule over your heart and your mouth. Learn to humble yourself in every situation, and before every person you meet, and you will find that anger will be replaced by joy and laughter, and you will live a life that is truly pleasing to your heavenly Father.
You are holy, dear saint!
[All Scripture quotations have been taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc. ]