by Ami Hendrickson
So, then, my beloved brothers, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man doesn’t produce the righteousness of God.
Anger is a deadly emotion.
It doesn’t just damage our thoughts and our relationships, creating mental health issues. Medical science has shown that being in a constant state of chronic anger also increases a person’s risks of heart disease, hypertension, headaches, stroke, and digestive disorders. To make matters worse, anger is often a factor in abuse and violent crimes.
When the Bible advises us to be “slow to anger,” it’s giving advice that is for our benefit. But sometimes that advice is difficult to take. The staff at the Mayo Clinic has some suggestions for applying the brakes to anger before it gets out of control. For instance:
Take a Break Before you rush to respond to a situation that makes you angry, give yourself a “timeout.” Review the words you intend to say before you say them. Give yourself the gift of time, rather than acting while in the grip of emotion.
Be Willing to Forgive Forgiving a wrong doesn’t mean forgetting it. But it can help keep the bitterness from destroying you.
Relax Engage in stress-relieving activities such as deep breathing, exercise, listening to soothing music, meditation, and prayer.
Kind and loving Father,
I know You will never ask me to do something You won’t help me accomplish.
Today, I give all my anger to You.
It is too heavy for me to carry.
In its place, please fill me with Your peace and righteousness.
In Christ’s precious Name, I pray, Amen.