It’s everywhere. On the roadways and in offices. On the schoolgrounds and church parking lots. And especially in our homes.
3.3 million children are exposed to domestic violence annually. 4 million women will experience sexual violence this year. 28% of all high school students report some sort of dating violence.
Here are six Biblical suggestions for handling our anger:
1) Realize the Cost
Sin crouches nearby when anger sweeps over us, ready to pounce (Genesis 4:7). Displays of anger, though temporarily cathartic, come with a high price tag.
2) Resolve to Control It
Don’t blame it on your red hair, your DNA, or “it’s just how our family does life.” Col. 3:8 advises us that anger can be mastered by those who choose to do so.
3) Reflect Before Reacting
Prov. 12:16 tells us that fools act on each impulse. Ten times scriptures tell us that Jehovah is “slow to anger.” Each of us have a God-given “PAUSE” button if we choose to push it.
4) Release Anger Appropriately
Ephesians 4:26 tells us that anger is a legitimate emotion. Don’t deny it. Denied anger results in depression. But rage breeds rage. Proverbs 29:11 says that a sign of maturity is self-mastery. Like the many young women at the Larry Nesser trial, we speak it, we identify the monsters while not becoming a monster ourselves.
5) Repattern My Mind
We repattern our minds (Romans 12:2) by looking upward when enraged by the injustices of life (Psalm 140, Psalm 77). We have learned how to pout, scream, criticize, and attack by our culture. But we learn better ways. Old dogs who never learn new tricks are miserable old dogs! Some of us refuse to suffer the discomfort of significant self-examination about our deep hostility.
6) Relate to Those Who Are Patient
Hang out with patient people. Prov. 22:24 reminds us if we keep company with hotheads soon we will become one. Don’t vacation at volcanoes, choose sandy beaches with lapping waves.