Is it Possible to be Angry and Humble at the Same Time?
There are a whole list of things that should make you angry.
Evil. Sin. Terrorism. God being dishonored. Injustice. Cruelty. And that’s just the short list.
Unfortunately, most anger isn’t that global. Most of your anger and mine triggered by selfishness and self-righteousness. Most anger is waaay more personal.
What’s your hot button?
Oh, come on, you know you have one. More than one? Yeah, me too.
And I’ll bet those closest to you know exactly how to push those buttons and set you off, make your blood, get on your last nerve, or whatever you like to call it.
Then there are all those rude and annoying people you don’t know personally but with whom you have to interact daily . . . it’s almost enough to make you want to just stay home.
But that’s where the people who know your hot buttons live.
What is a person supposed to do?
Is it possible to be angry and humble at the same time?
It must be or Paul would not have said,
When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day. Do not give the devil a way to defeat you. Ephesians 4:26–27
So, we know:
- Anger is an emotion. It happens. Anger itself is not a sin.
- It’s possible to be angry and not sin.
- It’s important to let go of anger quickly.
- The devil can use anger to defeat us.
Do not be bitter or angry or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ. Ephesians 4:31–32
So anger itself is okay, but don’t shout angrily or say things to hurt others isn’t.
Be kind and loving. Stay humble.
That’s just easier said than done, isn’t it? I can do it . . . when I’m not angry!
I need help. So, I came up with the following list for myself and thought it might help you too.
7 Ways to Stay Humble When You’re Angry
1. Stop – Don’t do or say anything right away.
2. Breathe – Take 5 to 10 slow calming breaths.
3. Control your thoughts – Humility rejects self-focused self-righteous thoughts.
4. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes – Humility considers the pain or problems other people are having.
5. Think about the goal of your next step – Do you want to win? Get even? Humility always strives to resolve and heal.
6. Choose the relationship over winning or revenge – Humility always puts the relationship first.
7. Maintain self-control and use carefully chosen words – Humility confronts when it’s needed but uses self-control and always tries to help not hurt.
My dear brothers and sisters, always be willing to listen and slow to speak. Do not become angry easily, because anger will not help you live the right kind of life God wants. James 1:19–20
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. Proverbs 15:1
It’s hard, though, isn’t it? Especially in the heat of the moment.
And most of the time it’s not one sided…
What if the other person is angry with you?
Do #1–7 twice!
It’s okay to ask:
“Can we take a little time before we talk about this? I’m afraid we’ll say things we’ll regret if we fight about this right now.”
But make sure you come back and talk about it. Stuffing emotions and never resolving problems will not help your relationships.
I’m not a fighter. It takes a lot to make me angry, but I’ve got buttons just like you do.
I’m reading Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. I love her reminder to remember who the enemy is. Your spouse. Your kids. Your parents or siblings. Your neighbors. Your co-workers. The person who cut you off in traffic. They are not the enemy.
The enemy of your heart, mind, and spirit is constantly trying hurt you by destroying your relationships.
Your father the devil, was a murderer from the beginning and was against the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he shows what he is really like, because he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
But the enemy has been defeated. You and I don’t have to give him power over our relationships. We have direct access to the One who won the victory over this liar. So pray!
Lift up every single person, thing, or situation that makes you angry. Pray for victory over how you handle your anger and help to heal and bless your relationships.
Be angry. It’s okay. There are things that should make you angry.
“If we would be angry and not sin (says one), we must be angry at nothing but sin; and we should be more jealous for the glory of God than for any interest or reputation of our own.” ~Matthew Henry
But stay humble.
Listen. Choose your words carefully . . . ask God to help you honor Him and bless your relationships.
One more thing to think about…
I have a friend who says, “If everyone is making you angry you need to stop and think about the common denominator.” It might be time for a little soul-searching.
“A woman told Billy Sunday that she had a bad temper, but it was over in a minute. “So is a shotgun, but it blows everything to pieces,” was his reply
What do you think? What’s your best tip for staying humble even when you’re angry?
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