Triumphing Over Temper- Part 1
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. Proverbs 16:32 (NKJV)
This verse has been rolling around in my spirit lately. Like anyone else, I have moments where anger wants to rise up in me. And I would be lying if I said that I never ever give in to it, but I’m growing and making progress. This verse tells us that the person who has control over his emotions and the ability to use self-control to prevent angry outbursts is stronger and mightier than the fiercest warrior. Our flesh tries to tell us that strength is displayed in fury, wrath, and the ability to insult and intimidate others. The exact opposite is true. The person with a strong spirit will be patient and not easily angered, while the weak and foolish will display fits of temper.
He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly. Proverbs 14:29 (NKJV)
The Contemporary English Version (CEV) says it like this: “It’s smart to be patient, but it’s stupid to lose your temper.” I’d say that’s clear enough, wouldn’t you? We are to turn away from anger and wrath.
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; James 1:19 (NKJV)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31 (New International Version, NIV)
Most people would admit that it is wrong to throw temper tantrums and even unsaved people try to hold their temper. But, truly overcoming anger is not something that can be done through willpower. It can be conquered only from the inside-out; allowing the Holy Spirit to work through our born-again spirit to transform us. The Holy Spirit does the work in us to change us. We cooperate by feeding on the Word of God (which has transforming power and brings faith), praying in the Spirit, and being sensitive to the leading and promptings of the Holy Spirit. When we are sensitive to the Holy Ghost and we choose to act according to His directions, we journey towards freedom from being controlled by anger and other destructive emotions.
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Ephesians 4:21-27 (New Living Translation, NLT)
As we yield to the Holy Spirit in each situation, we can make the right choice to hold our temper. As we do, we will gain rulership over our emotions and the enemy will find no access to our lives.