Controlling the Temper

July 21, 2020

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:31

There was once a football player from the University of Mississippi who went down to Cancun for Spring Break. He heard about this party that was being thrown for college kids and decided to go. He walked in and immediately spotted some good-looking girls standing in a group in the corner. Unbeknownst to him, they were from an Ivy League school. He approached them and said, “Where do y’all go to school?” One of the girls looked at him and answered, “Yale.” So he took a deep breath and shouted, “WHERE DO Y’ALL GO TO SCHOOL?”

Losing your temper, raising your voice, and letting your temper control you breaks the heart of the Holy Spirit. While it is possible to get angry and not sin, more often than not, when we are angry we do sin. When we fly off the handle, failing to exercise self-control (a fruit of the Spirit), we grieve the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:31 commands believers to “get rid of” every form of such fits of anger. The word in this verse for “get rid of” is a verb that literally means, “to lift up and carry away.” A good illustration for this idea is taking out the trash. Each week most of us haul the garbage away from our house and leave it on the curb to be picked up. That is exactly the word Paul uses here. You should treat your temper like garbage, hauling it from the heart and leaving it at the curb where it belongs.

It is interesting that someone once noticed that “anger” is just one letter short of “danger.” Up until 30 years ago, we had never seen this played out in a phenomenon called “Road Rage.” Now, however, we are all familiar with that term. Road rage doesn’t just happen on highways. It happens in homes and in hearts; and it grieves the Holy Spirit.

Have you ever noticed that when you lose your temper you automatically raise your voice? Talking louder, or yelling, does not make us more effective. In fact, the opposite is true; it makes us less effective. Such behavior doesn’t help a situation; it only hinders it. In fact, raising your voice makes you look foolish.

Anger, when left unchecked, is dangerous. It will almost always lead to sin, which grieves the heart of the Holy Spirit.

Dear Lord, thank you for the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Help me to not harbor any bitterness or resentment towards others, and give me the strength and grace to forgive. Amen. 

Topics: Anger

Bible Reference

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.