Proverbs 22:24 Do not associate with a man given to anger; Or go with a hot-tempered man,
several years ago I made a commitment to totally eliminate anger from my life. It took several years of constant vigilance, confession, recommitting, praying, journaling, but I have gotten to the place now in my life where I rarely get even a little irritated about anything. I wish I had made that commitment years ago instead of waiting until I was 60 to work on it.
I feel the emotion of anger often, but I don’t let the emotion control the way I talk, or act, or even think. The emotion of anger is strong, but it will go away very quiclkly if not “fed”, or acted on. Once I made the commitment to conquer this bad habit in my life I knew I needed a plan to make it happen, so here is the plan that I used.
1. Every morning I pray a prayer of commitment, and ask the Lord for the strength to keep the commitment. “Today, Lord, I will not get angry, not even a little bit irritated at anybody no matter what they do, but instead I will immediately forgive them because You have forgiven me of everything I have done. I can’t do this, Lord, please give me the strength to keep this commitment.
2. I found and memorized well a half dozen Bible verses on anger, and then whenever I started to feel angry or think angry thoughts I set my mind on one of the verses and started going over it in my mind. It didn’t take long meditating on one of my anger verses for for the irritation to be gone.
3. I journal most evenings about the day so I would journal about any times of speaking or acting on my anger describing what I had done, and then writing out what I should have done.
4. Every time I spoke or acted in anger I would confess it to God as sin, never justifying or excusing it because of another persons behavior or because of being tired or anything else.
5. If I did say something in anger to another person I would go to them and express my sorrow and regret for what I had said and how I had acted, and ask them to forgive me. I would try to do this before the day ended. I did not enjoy doing this at all so my resolve to conquer this problem in my life would grow tremendously.
6. I would act out situations that were regular problems in my life where I tended to fail in my commitment to the Lord. Two regular times that were not people related was when I would play golf and when I would work on a car or my pickup and I would struggle getting a nut off or break a bolt and get instantly upset. I would see that situation in my mind and then I would act right and repeat it over several times in my mind in order to permenantly program right behavior in my mind.
7. I have taken advantage of every opportunity to teach, coach, and model to others who are struggling with anger on how to conquer it in their life. I only do this with people who want the help and are responsive to my help. I work hard at doing this with grace and humility.