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By: Emily Watkins

Ephesians 4:26-27, “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” (NIV)

Do you want to be mighty? How about wise? The Bible’s secret ingredient to both these virtues is rather surprising: learn to control your anger (Proverbs 16:32, 12:16).

What’s so wrong with being a little angry?

When I was in my early teens, I used to get angry with my parents all the time, especially when I did my homework. I attended a public school in Poland, and sometimes my Polish teacher would assign me writing assignments. These would always take me hours to complete, because Polish grammar is extremely difficult and I had a limited vocabulary. My parent’s language skills were even weaker than mine, so I knew I was doomed to receive a low grade in class. Since I am such a high achiever, this would throw me into a fit. Anger was my way of reacting to stress and feelings of unmet expectations. My blowups stemmed from my fear of failure as well as the prideful assumption that my personal rights superseded those of others. It is interesting that, whether we realize it or not, these emotions often lie at the very root of anger.

Anger is an outward emotion that speaks volumes about what hides inside. So, in order to overcome anger, first, we need to find its source and put a cork in it. If it is pride and fear that add fuel to our anger, then love and humility are our best neutralizers (1 John 4:18).

One of the greatest breakthroughs in my battle against anger came when I made the “groundbreaking” discovery that NOBODY is perfect. As Paul writes in Romans: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). What’s more, the Lord even commands us to consider others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). Always? Yes, even when someone is purposely trying to hurt us. No matter what!

Of course, when our blood begins to boil, it is hard to think rationally. That is why it is important for everyone to develop their own action plan for dealing with anger. When I was struggling with anger, sometimes I would have to go to my room every day and spend time with the Lord to cool off. There, I forced myself to confront and deal with my frustration, and I would not to let myself leave my room until I could speak words of life that overflowed from a heart of forgiveness.

The Bible warns us not to fool around with anger, but to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice…” (Ephesians 4:31-32). Not only does anger “not bring about the righteous life God desires,” but it also leads to sin (James 1:20, Ephesians 4:27, Psalm 37:8). That’s why learning to control our anger is so important. That’s why it’s worth the fight.

Today, as you read this devotion, I encourage you to start your own journey away from the mouth of anger and into God’s heart of unconditional love and forgiveness. Remember: “every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).


Father, I know that I sometimes have problems with anger, and so I invite You to come and calm my spirit every time I feel angry. Please give me eyes to see the root of my anger and supply me with the strength I need to overcome it. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Think About It:

Why is it so important for you to learn to control your anger?

What impact does your anger have on others, you, and your relationship with God?

Live It:

Think of something that you know helps you deal with anger. Some ideas are: praying, listening to music, drawing, or taking a walk. Use these to help you next time you feel angry.

Power Verses:

James 1:19, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry” (NIV).

Ecclesiastes 7:9, “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” (NIV)

© 2009 by Emily Watkins. All rights reserved.

Tell Us About It:

What are some things that you do to control your anger? How has growing in your relationship with Christ helped you deal with anger?

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Blogger Jessica said...

I am 1 year too young;11 years old, but this seems like it's just for me. I have 2 younger sisters,and I often vent my frustrations out on them when they are trying to be nice.THANKS!! :)

Blogger Jessica said...

upper post continued I will try to be a better big sister Thankyou!!! :)

Blogger Emily said...

Hey Jessica,
I am so glad that this devotion spoke to you. I am the oldest sister in my family too with two younger sisters and one younger brothers, so I can totally relate to you :). God bless!
Emily Watkins

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