When I observed the life of Jesus, I could find that He too got angry at certain times. But He NEVER SINNED in his anger. That’s what we need to learn from Jesus. He was properly in His senses and He knew what He was saying/doing. He never created a scene where he had to go and apologize later. He never said, “Oh! I shouldn’t have spoken like that!” Therefore, I believe, it is possible for one to become angry and at the same time, NOT TO SIN. That’s the true trait of a person who is mature and has self-control. How is it possible not to sin when you become angry?”
Anger is a dangerous emotion. Jesus strictly warns about this in the Gospel of Matthew
But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Matt 5:22
Therefore, we need to take utmost care in our thoughts, words and actions, when we become angry. In this post, I would like to share few thoughts on controlling anger, especially in interpersonal relationships.
READ ALSO: 3 things you shouldn’t do when you are angry
Here you go!
1. Never react immediately
If you are a person who finds it difficult to control your emotions, it is better not to react at that instant itself. It might be a word spoken by that person which agitated you, or something which someone did, which irritated you. Whatever it is, if you become angry, just shut your mouth, and chose to react later. That’s the first and foremost thing you should decide to do.
When you become calm, you will be able to react in a better way, and thereby you will escape from sinning. Words spoken in anger can cause deep scars in the other person’s heart.
2. Take quality time to ponder on what actually happened
Lock yourself in a room, start analyzing the conversations, the chronology of the incidents- gather as much information you can! Find more details of the situation, people involved, their character, etc, till you will be able to rightly judge the situation and arrive at a possible conclusion.
This process will refine us, enables us to think better, and prepare our minds to react in the best positive way possible.
3. Think from all possible angles
Many times, we end up in wrong actions/decisions/conclusions just because we have thought only from our angle. Everyone is right in their own perception. But it may not be right always!
There are some beautiful proverbs related to this
The way of a fool is right in his own opinion, but the one who listens to advice is wise. Prov 12: 15
A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart. Prov 21: 2
Therefore, we need to do our homework- that is, to think from all possible angles. Put yourselves in their shoes. It takes some time, energy and lot of patience. But if you really need to work on the betterment of the relationships, you have to spend some time to think from other’s perspective as well. May be you can seek the help of some trustworthy person to help you analyse the situation better. But remember, let it not lead to gossip.
READ ALSO: This is how gossip destroys relationships
4. Our goal is to find the root cause behind our anger
We need to find out exactly what made us angry. The sooner you find it, the sooner you’re gonna deal with it wisely.
The first 3 steps will help us find the root cause. Do it with much prayer and God’s fear. I am sure, God will open our eyes to the real root cause.
5. Let us be honest with ourselves
Your ego may prevent you from being honest with yourself. Sometimes, ‘you’ might the person who who is at wrong! Just quit justifying, and accept your mistake as it is. That may be the hardest part. Wise people accept their mistakes quickly, whereas fools keep on arguing.
READ ALSO: What if someone says you are wrong?
6. Take the ‘right’ action
Steps 1-5 will help you think better, so that you will be able to take the wisest action. It may be taking the person separately and discussing on the matter. Jesus handled such cases better.
READ ALSO: Here is another article on how Jesus handled Judas. Point#5 in that article speaks about preserving the reputation.
Always think from a long term relationship perspective. You ‘need’ that person, and that person ‘needs you’ as well, in the long run, so why causing a crack in the relationship, just for a moment’s emotion, which will soon vanish? Think twice before you take that step.
7. Will I ever reach this step?
When I tried explaining some of these steps to my friends, this was the common response which I got – Will I ever be able to follow these, before reacting?
Yes, our discussion is all about self-control. Inorder to attain self control, we need to take quality time and effort to analyse our ‘self’, to understand how we behave in various situations. The more we take time tocome to ourselves, the more we discover our weaknesses and strengths. Then, we will know what to pray for, and seek God’s help in overcoming our weaknesses. Slowly and gradually we will attain self-control, which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit (which means, the Holy Spirit of God works in us, and brings forth godly character in us)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Gal 5: 22-23
A tree takes takes lot of time to bear fruit. It requires favorable conditions and proper manure. Similarly self-control is a godly character, which is developed by humble prayer and a willingness to lead a good life. May God help all of us to attain self-control and to be able to control anger.
Father, we request you to help us to stay calm and peaceful like Jesus. Help us to attain self-control. Give us the divine strength to overcome anger, and to keep watch over our words, thoughts and actions. We know that it is not possible with our own strength. Please help us. In Jesus’ Name, we request You, Amen