You’re not alone. One of the most common difficulties I hear others battle with is anger issues, children and adults alike. That’s why there are many bible verses warning us about letting anger get the best of us (see James 1:19- 20, Eph. 4:26-31, Ecc. 7:9 for a few examples). Whether through our words to others or in our silent relationship fumes, anger is the door many of us leave cracked and it gives the enemy a foothold. This is your reminder that it’s time to close it.
We all have our “non-strengths” when it comes to exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness). That thing we really have to work on so that we overcome it instead of letting it run wild and out of control. For me, it was my level of patience with certain people. It used to be pretty bad. Once I reached my limit, there was no turning back. My level of irritation or frustration could very easily step into rage that was uncontrollable to the point that I didn’t even like myself. I didn’t like the lack of character it demonstrated. I didn’t like how it caused others to look at me in a different way. Most importantly, I didn’t like the way it caused my victims to feel and how it represented God. There have only been a handful of really bad incidents, but it was enough to make me decide to change it, to close the door once and for all. I’m not perfect, but I’d like to offer a few tips on how you can improve your anger too.
You don’t have to accept it as part of your personality anymore. Personally, my environments had a lot to do with my anger issues and likely yours is highly influenced by those same things: family, culture, media, etc., but it’s not YOU. YOU are a child of the Most High God, and His Word in Galatians 5: 22-23 says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this
kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” This means that your character is full of fruit, bountiful fruit. YOU are patient, not intolerant. YOU are kind, not rude. YOU are peaceful, not hateful. YOU are gentle not violent.
1. Closed mouths don’t get fed. In this case, we are trying to avoid feeding anger and any of it’s cousins like frustration and irritation. If we don’t feed it with time and energy, it dissipates. This was the first thing I learned how to do. Just like our parents used to say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” There were so many arguments and power trips I was able to avoid by not engaging and it shut the enemy down every time.
2. Feed your spirit with the Word of God. One of the advantages we have as God’s children is the ability to be controlled by the Spirit as indicated in Romans 8. Unfortunately, we don’t spend enough time truly learning about who we are as a child of God and understanding our power. We have already been given authority. We need to learn it, claim it, and use it to overcome every obstacle in our lives.
3. Be willing to consistently renew your mind as described in Romans 12. People typically want a step-by-step system on how to “cure” something. Rarely do we depend on the Holy Spirit for our guidance. My testimony is not for you to follow the exact way I’ve done something, it is to direct you back to God so you can depend on Him for your breakthrough, promise, healing, etc. Until I recognized my sin and gave it to God, there was no transformation I could have experienced. Talk to God in prayer. Listen for His voice. Journal your thoughts and feelings. Worship Him. Recite your anchor scripture. Renew your mind by allowing Holy Spirit to change your behaviors. Abide in Him. He is the only answer you truly need and He will show you how to overcome any issue you face.
Anger should not be our go to response. We need to adopt better skills to communicate with others that represent God appropriately. If you’re willing to let go of pride and forgive yourself for previous mistakes, you will find that your anger issues are easier to overcome than you think.