How to Respond when Angry

When you are angry, does reason rule the day or do tense emotions take over? In short, do you act or react?

Do you allow the mind of Christ within you to decide how best you should act, a choice that leads to appropriate action … or do you have a knee-jerk reaction that leads to inappropriate reaction? If you have never evaluated what happens when you feel angry or if you lack insight as to how others perceive you when you are angry, seek God’s wisdom and understanding. Proverbs 2:3–6 “If you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

An appropriate action is expressing your thoughts and feelings with restraint, understanding, and concern for the other person’s welfare. Appropriate actions will be: The use of tactful, compassionate words, try to see the other person’s point of view, help the one who angers you, focus first on your own faults, have realistic expectations, have a flexible and cooperative attitude, and forgive personal injustices. Proverbs 17:27 “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.”

An inappropriate reaction is expressing your thoughts and feelings in such a way that stirs up anger in others so that it produces strife.  Other inappropriate reactions to anger are: use tactless and condemning words, see only your point of view, want to punish the one who angers you, you focus only on the faults of others, you have unrealistic expectations, you have a rigid and uncooperative attitude, you have difficulty forgiving injustices. Proverbs 30:33 “As churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.”

Even though a situation may evoke anger, those who allow the Lord to be their strength will respond appropriately. Colossians 3:12 “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”