Reflect Before Reacting
"Stupid people express their anger openly, but sensible people are patient and hold it back." Proverbs 29:11 (GNT)
Have you noticed you can't put your foot in your mouth when it's closed?
Proverbs 29:11 says, "Stupid people express their anger openly, but sensible people are patient and hold it back" (GNT). One of the best tools for anger management is delay. Just wait a minute! Don't respond right away to that email that upset you. When someone says something mean to you, walk away if you have to.
This verse is basically the biblical basis for the term, "Chill out!" When you start to get angry, give yourself time to chill out. Take time to think and reflect. Delay is a great remedy to anger.
What do you do during the delay? There are three questions you need to ask when you're reflecting before reacting:
"Why am I angry?" The problem is not your anger. Anger is a symptom. Anger is the warning light.
"What do I really want?" What is it that you're not getting? What is the need that's being unfulfilled in your life?
"How can I get it?" How can you get what you want from what's irritating you? I guarantee you blowing up and losing your cool is not the best way to get what you want.
When something ticks you off or makes you mad, the Bible says to first resolve to manage it, then remember the cost of losing your temper, and then reflect before reacting.
Talk It Over
- What character traits or features do you notice about people who are easily angered?
- What do you think you should do with your answer to the question, "How can I get what I really want?"
- How could remembering the cost of anger help you reflect before reacting?