30 years ago I had a major anger problem. I knew it would eventually destroy my marriage, mess up my kids, and possibly end my ministry. I made the commitment to conquer it, to myself, to Patty, and to God. I did 4 things to end anger’s grip on me; (1) In my prayer of commitment that I pray every morning I prayed, “today, Lord Jesus, I will not get angry at anybody, no matter what they do, no matter how bad it may be, and no matter how many times they have done it, I will not get even a little bit irritated. I can’t keep this commitment in my own strength, please give me the strength and self-control to keep this commitment that I am making to You today.” (2) I made the same commitment to Patty by saying to her, “Every time I say ‘It love you’, I am promising you that I will not get angry at you, not even a little bit irritated no matter what you do.” If you hear me starting to get angry remind me of this promise by saying real loud to me, “I love you!” (3) I memorized 6 Bible verses on anger and repeated them out loud 5 to 10 times every day. (4) I gave a weekly report to 4 close friends on how I did controlling my anger.
I can say with total honesty and transparency that it has been several years since I have gotten angry at anybody for anything, not even a little bit irritated. It feels very satisfying to be able to say that. Since that victory I have targeted a number of other sin habits in my life and have conquered them with a similar strategy. All four steps are important, but the memorizing of key Bible verses and meditating on them is what seems to make the others more powerful in my life.
Psalms 119:11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.
Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.
Psalms 1:2-3 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.