Anger management the Proverbs way

Graphic by Fort Drum MWR

By Chaplain (Col.) James R. Boulware
USAG Stuttgart Religious Support Office

At one point during a game, a baseball coach asked one of his young players: “Do you understand what cooperation is? What a team is?”

The little boy nodded in the affirmative.

“Do you understand that what matters is whether we win together as a team?”

The little boy nodded yes.

So,” the coach continued, “when a strike is called, or you’re out at first, you don’t argue or curse or attack the umpire. Do you understand all that?”

Again, the little boy nodded.

“Good,” said the coach. “Now go over there and explain it to your mother”

Anger can be destructive if not properly controlled. It is said that “Anger is one letter short of danger.”

The book of Proverbs was written by one of the wisest men that ever lived – King Solomon. In it, he writes about anger. Here are four lessons that can keep your anger under control.

First, avoid angry people.
Proverbs 22 states, “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared” and do not envy them, Proverbs 3, “Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways.” 

Second, don’t let others control you.
Proverbs 15 says, “A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.”

“You make me mad” is an excuse often used by those who want to justify inappropriate behavior. Australian nurse Elizabeth Kenny, a pioneer in paralysis treatment, said: “He who angers you, conquers you.”

Third, control yourself.
Proverbs 15 says that “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

In the words of Civil War veteran and writer Ambrose Bierce, “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”

“If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape one hundred days of sorrow.” Chinese Proverb

Finally, Let God take control of your emotions.
Proverbs 16 says that “When the LORD takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.”

Though you cannot always make people do the right things, through prayer, acknowledge your anger to God and ask him to take control of your actions. Unresolved anger can disrupt your relationship with God.

Research suggests that one of the roots of depression is anger. Depression is often frozen rage. It is angry feelings stuffed down, taking itself out on my body in the form of depression. Some of you who are depressed should stop saying to yourself, “Why am I depressed?” and say, “What am I angry about?”

Army Community Service offers free stress management classes for all ID cardholders in Stuttgart monthly. View the community update or the Family & MWR website for dates/times. 

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