Do you have a problem with controlling your temper? Here are three ways that might help you control it.
Think before you Speak
I don’t know it if really helps to count to ten when you’re angry, but I do know it helps to stop and think before you speak out in anger. I have heard people say, “I had to bite my tongue,” and to me, that’s a sign of self-control. How many people do you know that often speak without thinking? You can count me in. I am guilty, but I know I’m not alone. I have done better lately, but that was only because I received God’s help, so do what I have learned to do; stop, think, and then speak (if necessary). Sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all.
People over Possessions
Before my mother passed away, my young son accidentally broke something over at her house. My first reaction was anger, but then I noticed my mother (his grandmother), and as she looked into my eyes, she said, “You know, things can be replaced, but people can’t.” She was right of course. People take precedence over possessions. If you feel like snapping at someone because it has cost you something, think about this; whatever it is, it can be replaced, or fixed, but our words will stay for a long, long time. The wounds of a stick or stone heal, but wounds from words can last forever.
Think of Others
I know that God thought of us when He sent His one and only Son to die for us who deserved God’s wrath (John 3:16). His righteous indignation was against us before we trusted in Christ. When we were born again, our sins were taken away and placed on Jesus at the cross. Why would it help to know this if we’re trying to control our anger? For one thing, Jesus died for the ungodly, wicked sinners, who were His natural enemies (Rom 5:6-10). Can anyone really do anything worse to you than what we have done to Christ Who had to bear our sins at Calvary? He was innocent; we are not! That person you get mad at in rush hour traffic might be trying to just survive a frantic life that’s coming apart at the seams because they don’t know Christ. They don’t have His peace.
If you have a problem controlling your anger, maybe you can think about a railroad crossing when you get mad. The old railroad crossings often said; “Stop, Look and Listen” but I prefer, “Stop, Think and Listen.” Remember that people and their souls are of infinite value; things are not. And think of others before you lash out in anger. They may be hurting inside. They may not even know Christ and they’re trying to live this life without God. Pray for them. Do good to them. Love them. That’s what Jesus would do and what He told us to do (Matt 5).