Control Your Anger

​  “Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.” – Ecclesiastes 7:9 NLT

Wow. Can it be any more clear than this? Just for fun, let’s check a couple of other translations… (check out YouVersion for all of your Bible needs at http://bible.com).

Let’s start with some old English in the American Standard Version (ASV), then the King James Version (KJV). 

  “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry; for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.” – Ecclesiastes 7:9 ASV

  “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.” – Ecclesiastes 7:9 KJV

Personally, I switch between the NLT, the New Living Translation, and the NIV, the New International Version. They are both easy to read and understand, and it’s good to read both to help in understanding scripture. Here’s the NIV:

  “Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.” – Ecclesiastes 7:9 NLT 

Finally,  I get to share the one called The Message. It’s written more for teenagers and young adults, but I love the bluntness. 

  “Don’t be quick to fly off the handle. Anger boomerangs. You can spot a fool by the lumps on his head.” – Ecclesiastes 7:9 MSG

It should be pretty clear by now that controlling anger is important!

I don’t know about anyone else, but I can vouch to going through life with “lumps on my head” – maybe not too visible to me, but certainly visible to others, especially my family as they prayer for me. I know that my anger made me physically ill at times, and I have residual lingering effects from the years I spent nursing anger and grudges against others. Was the anger worth it? Absolutely not. I spent so much of my life embroiled in the pain and hurt that I missed out on so much, including being able to raise my daughter. I was killing myself by holding on the the anger and letting it consume me, both literally and figuratively. 

How are you doing today? Is the someone, or several someones, that you just can’t seem to get over?  I get it, I really do! I also know how impossible it is for me, on my own, to let go of my anger. There’s really only one way to let go of that deep-seated anger that has been stoked by resentment and frustration over the years, and His Name is Jesus. 

Revenge, resentment, and retaliation are not the answers. Only Jesus. We can’t do it alone.

Did you get that? On my own, there is no way – no way – for me to let the anger and hurt go. It has been a process, because when you nurture something like this for years it doesn’t just dissappear overnight. I have had to visualize handing a particular person and situation to Christ over and over. At first, it felt like I was saying “Here, God, take it” every minute of the day. Then gradually add few times per day, and finally…. finally…. it’s only a couple of times a month. I am not capable of forgiving on my own. It is only through Jesus Christ and His Grace that I am able to live a *mostly* anger free life today. My prayer is that you can get there, as well.  

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