“Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.”
Proverbs 29:11 NIV
I was furious.
Years ago, a dear friend shared that someone had said some very hurtful things about her. After getting off the phone with my friend, I quickly picked back up the phone and dialed the number of the person who had hurt my friend.
The telephone buzzed several times. I should have hung up the phone before she answered—that would have been the wise thing to do. But the temptation to tell her how wrong it was that she said those things about my friend won out. When I heard her say, “Hello?” I told her exactly how I felt about her and the words she had spoken about my friend.
I was foolish.
Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” I wish I could say that my words were both kind and gentle, bringing about a peaceful resolution between friends. But the truth is that my words came out cruel and harsh. In the end, my lack of self-control made an unfortunate situation worse.
In Ephesians 4:26-27, Paul warns us not to sin in our anger or give the devil a foothold. Anger can prevent us from seeing things clearly and cause us to make us react without thinking. It’s not wrong to get angry when bad things happen; however, it’s not wise, nor does it reflect the character of Christ to give in to our flesh and act out in a rageful fit. If I had waited and taken the time to seek God for direction, I might have prevented myself from making a fool of myself.
When we are angry, we can choose to deal with it healthily and wisely by seeking help from our heavenly father. Before you act, seek God for guidance and pray:
- Ask God to give you the strength to resist the temptation to react foolishly.
- Ask God to help you cool your anger and align your heart with his so that you can see the situation clearly.
- Ask for wisdom on how to handle the situation appropriately. If God does want you to do or say something, he will lead you on how and when to proceed.
The next time we feel tempted to lash out in anger, let’s pause before we act and ask God to help us handle the situation wisely.
“Lord, we praise you for your wisdom! We thank you for being a good and just God. You are good to calm our hearts and always point us to the truth. Please, forgive us for the times we’ve foolishly lashed out in anger. Please help us to remember to seek you first before we act and give us the strength to overcome the temptation to react foolishly. We ask that you align our hearts with yours so that we see the situation with fresh eyes. We also ask for guidance on how to handle the situation that has angered us wisely. May our actions promote peace and point others to you. In Jesus’ name, amen!“
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