YOUNG PEOPLE ASK
How Can I Control My Anger?
How often do you get angry?
How bad does your anger get?
With whom are you most likely to get angry?
If you see the need to control your anger, this article will help you! First, consider some reasons why it’s important to stay calm when you’re provoked.
Why it matters
Your well-being. Proverbs 14:30 says: “A calm heart gives life to the body.” In contrast, the Journal of Medicine and Life says that “anger can have a direct impact upon cardiovascular diseases.”
Your friends. The Bible says: “Do not keep company with a hot-tempered man or get involved with one disposed to rage.” (Proverbs 22:24) So if you have anger issues, don’t be surprised if people avoid you. “If you don’t learn to control your temper,” says a young woman named Jasmine, “you will lose out on rewarding friendships.”
Your reputation. “If you lose your temper,” says 17-year-old Ethan, “it will become known to others and it will shape their opinion of you.” Ask yourself, ‘How do I want to be known—as a coolheaded peacemaker or as a ticking time bomb?’ The Bible says: “The one who is slow to anger has great discernment, but the impatient one displays his foolishness.”—Proverbs 14:29.
What you can do
Consider the following scriptures and comments, and ask yourself the accompanying questions.
Proverbs 29:22: “A man prone to anger stirs up strife; anyone disposed to rage commits many transgressions.”
“In my early teen years, I had the hardest time controlling my temper. My relatives on my dad’s side have the same problem. We call it the family gene. Our tempers are very hard to control!”—Kerri.
Am I prone to anger? If I accept credit for my good qualities, is it reasonable to blame genetics for this bad quality?
Proverbs 15:1: “A mild answer turns away rage, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
“The key is to learn to control your emotions. If you cultivate a mild personality and focus on the positive, losing your temper won’t be an option—or an issue.”—Daryl.
When provoked, why is my first response crucial?
Proverbs 26:20: “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out.”
“When I respond kindly, it usually calms the other person down and we’re both able to communicate without our emotions spiraling out of control.”—Jasmine.
How might my speech or actions only add fuel to the fire?
Proverbs 22:3: “The shrewd one sees the danger and conceals himself, but the inexperienced keep right on going and suffer the consequences.”
“Sometimes I just need to walk away and give myself time to think about what happened, and then I can deal with it later when I’m calm.”—Gary.
When might it be best to walk away from a tense situation without giving the impression that you are turning your back on the other person?
James 3:2: “We all stumble many times.”
“We should regret our mistakes, but we should also learn from them. We need to get right back up when we fall and resolve to do better next time.”—Kerri.
Tip: Set a goal. Resolve that you will remain coolheaded for a certain period of time—perhaps a month. Keep a diary and track your progress.