“Anger resides in the lap of fools.” Ecc 7:9 NIV
The word “anger” is just one letter short of the word “danger.” When you lose control you risk losing other things as well, like the respect of others or the chance to find a constructive solution. Anger toward human suffering is not only appropriate, it’s the catalyst for change. Paul writes, “Be angry…but…don’t stay angry” (Eph 4:26 TM). The Chinese have a saying: “Anger is the wind that blows out the lamp of the mind.” So: (1) Before you react, take a walk. It burns off excess adrenaline and it’s more effective than stewing. It also helps you to think more clearly and handle things in a way you won’t regret. “A quick-tempered man does foolish things” (Pr 14:17 NIV). (2) Recognize the things you can’t control. You can’t control other people’s attitudes and actions, or unforeseen events such as cancelled flights and traffic jams. “What should I do?” you ask. Count your blessings, particularly the fact that you have God, salvation, your health, your family, your job, and a car to get to it, etc. (3) Be careful where you vent. It’s one thing to be angry, it’s another to “sound off” at the wrong time. “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards” (Pr 29:11). It’s okay to share your feelings with those you trust and who are not the targets of your anger. But be careful, your words can come back and bite you! (4) Keep your distance from angry people. The Bible says, “Don’t hang out with angry people” (Pr 22:24 TM). Anger, like joy and gratitude, is contagious, so keep your distance.