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Delve into the Bible’s wisdom on temper control with “Mastering Your Temper: A Biblical Perspective.” Discover valuable insights from the Scriptures, exploring God’s guidance, the role of love and patience, and the transformative power of the Holy Spirit. Master anger management the biblical way, and enhance your Christian journey today.
A sudden surge in heart rate, dilated pupils, elevated blood pressure, distorted facial expressions, rapid breathing, and chemical shifts in the body – these are the hallmarks of an agitated individual. Surprisingly, the cause is not always a medical emergency but rather a commonplace occurrence: losing one’s temper.
This eruption of emotions often instigates negative outcomes. Consider a bride who, on her wedding day, got into a disagreement with her groom and subsequently killed him by running him over. This tragic story underscores the potential calamitous consequences of uncontrolled anger.
In biblical accounts, countless sins arose from unmanaged tempers. Cain, “burning with great fury,” murdered his younger brother, Abel (Gen. 4:5-8). King Herod, ensnared in “intense rage,” ordered the massacre of infants in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:16-18). The Bible categorizes “fits of rage” as a ‘work of the flesh’ (Gal. 5:19, 20), necessitating Christian efforts to conquer it. Men struggling with this issue are deemed unfit for pastoring within the Christian community (Titus 1:7).
However, Christians are not called to suppress all anger. Scripture reveals instances when Jehovah God and Jesus experienced anger (Ps. 110:5; Mark 3:4-6). Anger can be righteous if it arises from witnessing defamation of God’s name or ill-treatment of humans. But we must heed the Bible’s advice, “Be angry and do not sin” (Eph. 4:26). When anger spirals out of control, resulting in a loss of temper, sin becomes almost inevitable.
Consider Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, who reacted excessively to their sister Dinah’s rape, slaughtering all the men in the perpetrator’s city (Gen. 34). While their anger was justified, their violent response exacerbated the original problem. Often, a flare-up of temper is remembered more vividly than the initial provocation.
However, exercising control over anger, even when provoked, can yield positive results. A Christian woman demonstrated this when confronting her gambling husband, approaching him with a “gentle and quiet spirit” instead of anger (1 Pet. 3:1-4). Her calm demeanor prompted him to abandon his harmful habit and embrace Christianity.
To control one’s temper, Christians must eliminate “all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander” (Eph. 4:31). People vary in temperaments, but all can harness self-control with Scriptural guidance (Ps. 4:4; Prov. 15:1, 22:24; Rom. 12:18).
Love, a key virtue, discourages us from imposing our anger on others. A parent’s temper may terrify a child; an pastor’s can undermine his congregational work. It might be tempting to claim, “That’s just the way I am,” but the Bible teaches us that love “bears all things” and “never ends” (1 Cor. 13:4-8). Deep love for our fellow humans should motivate us to curb any hot-headed tendencies.
Additionally, calling on God’s help through the Holy Spirit can equip us with qualities like love, peace, patience, and gentleness (Gal. 5:22-24), essential for self-control. Prayer can guide us towards mastery over our emotions. We can conquer our temperament issues with Jehovah’s assistance!
Being “slow to anger” is vital as “the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (Jas. 1:19, 20). Unchecked temper can not only make us appear foolish but also disrupt our relationships and demonstrate a lack of love. Moses, for instance, was barred from the Promised Land for losing self-control (Num. 20:9-13). Don’t let a lack of self-control rob you of your blessings. Embrace King David’s wisdom: “Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land” (Ps. 37:8, 9).