Ooh, she was angry. I don’t know why. I don’t even know who.
But I could hear her shrieks coming from down the street. She was angry and wanted everyone to know it.
I don’t know whether it worked for her or not but temper tantrums and angry outbursts typically cause more problems than they solve.
We tend to think of tantrums as a toddler problem but…
A temper tantrum is an unplanned, unintentional expression of anger, often with physical and verbal outbursts.
So, based on that definition…
When was your last tantrum?
The last time you let everyone know that you were NOT happy? You were feet stomping, hands flailing, purple-faced angry?
Who was the recipient?
- Your spouse.
- Your children.
- Your parents.
- Your child’s teacher.
- Your boss.
- Your server at lunch.
- Your neighbors.
I get it, they’re ugly and you’re squirming a little.
The truth is, even if you and I don’t want to call them temper tantrums any time we lash out in anger ranting at the closest victim . . . we can name it anything we want, it’s still a temper tantrum.
[Tweet “Temper tantrums are unattractive in children and downright ugly in adults.”]
They are able to ruin a perfectly good day for both the tantrum thrower and the recipient.
Look at what King Solomon said about controlling your temper.
People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.Proverbs 14:29
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.Proverbs 15:1
Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.Proverbs 29:11
As the beating of cream yields butter and striking the nose causes bleeding, so stirring up anger causes quarrels.Proverbs 30:33
Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.Ecclesiastes 7:9
Labels you a fool.
Okay, you’re convinced. You’ve decided it’s time to start controlling your temper but now what.
How can you and I stop the habit of our angry outbursts?
5 Helpful Ways to Start Controlling Your Temper
1. Before you throw a lose your temper … breathe.
Count to ten, count to fifty – anything to slow down and take time to calm down.
“When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace.” ~Author Unknown
2. Before you respond in anger … be quiet.
Refuse to scream and shout. One of the best teachers I ever had used to speak in a whisper when she was angry. She could quickly get our attention and rarely raised her voice.
“Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart.” ~Unknown
3. Before you reward anger, yours or anyone else’s … stop.
The person, child or adult, venting is often satisfied just to get an angry response. Do your best to remain calm. Memorize a scripture verse or quote to mentally recite when you’re tempted to react with anger.
“When things begin accelerating wildly out of control, sometimes patience is the only answer. Press pause.” ~Douglas Rushkoff
4. After you lose your temper … confess.
We’re all going to “lose it” once in a while. As hard as it is to admit, anger happens. Stop the cycle by remembering Ephesians 4:26–27
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. (NCV)
5. Work out your anger with the Lord … repent and apologize.
Ask God for His forgiveness and go to person on the receiving end of your anger and ask for an opportunity to talk about it with humility and without excuses.
“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” ~Benjamin Franklin
I’m so thankful Jesus showed us a better way to deal with each other without anger by speaking truth respectfully.
You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!Matthew 5:43–44
“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.Luke 6:31,36
How I wish I could control my anger and love people perfectly.
It’s hard, isn’t it?
But I’m not ready to give up or give in. With prayer, practice, and Holy Spirit power we can do a better job of using our words and controlling our tempers.
Finally, Quotes to Inspire You
“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” ~Ambrose Bierce
“The greatest remedy for anger is delay.” ~Thomas Paine
Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.James 1:9–10
It is wise to direct your anger towards problems — not people; to focus your energies on answers — not excuses. – William Arthur Ward
Do you know where your fights and arguments come from? They come from the selfish desires that war within you.James 4:1
“Anger is one letter short of danger.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Do not let evil defeat you, but defeat evil by doing good.Romans 12:21
Friends, anger is a valid emotion.
You and I will get angry on occasion. It’s what we do with it that matters. Because when anger takes control it has the power to make us do and say things we don’t want to do or say. And that’s a problem.
So when it comes to controlling your temper … count to ten, speak softly, remember God’s Word, confess and apologize.
What’s your best tip for pushing pause and controlling your anger?
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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