YOU—through the power of the Holy Spirit who resides in you—are the one who controls your destiny—not Satan or those who would wish to do you harm. God commands us to take control of our emotions, and failing to do so is disobedience.
Perhaps the single most problematic emotion with which we deal is anger. This is a subject widely covered by biblical authors.
- “A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back. . . . Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Proverbs 29:11, 20)
- “Be angry, and do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:26)
Anger in and of itself is neutral, not sinful. We get into trouble when we yield to the temptation to react to this emotion in a negative, self-defeating manner.
- “Be slow to wrath, because the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19–20)
Again, not all anger is forbidden. The text doesn’t tell us never to be angry but cautions us to be slow to anger. The problem with anger is what it produces or leads to. Many other passages refer to “self-control” as an essential characteristic of Christians. Every passage that commands self-control is focused on the issue of controlling our tempers (see 1 Corinthians 9:25–27; 2 Peter 1:5–8; and Galatians 5:22–23).
God understands our human frailties and our temptation to believe we can’t change, so He never asks us to change ourselves. He only asks us to surrender our will to His, to make possible our transformation. Eventually we’ll be able to say with confidence, “I can accomplish whatever God commands me to do.” Since God will never command the impossible, He makes the impossible, possible.
- “We do not face any temptation that is beyond our ability to handle, including the temptation to lose our temper. God will make a way of escape.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)