Scripture to Tame Your Temper

Norman Vincent Peale shares wisdom to skillfully master your anger.

- Posted on Apr 25, 2014

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

It is very important what you do when angry. Your action rides, to a large extent, on the destiny of your life. You can stir up trouble, make enemies, ruin chances or make yourself sick.

On the contrary, by proper handling of anger you can keep situations under control, cement friendships, win respect and stay healthy. 

I suspect that some people’s lives have been ruined by anger. By the same token, the skillful mastering of anger has added to the effectiveness of many. The following verses constitute an extraordinarily effective anti-anger technique:

“Good sense makes a man slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11).
This verse pits good sense against anger and stresses the value of imperturbably overlooking offense. When anger surges upon you, just say to yourself, It is stupid to get angry. It won’t get me anywhere except into trouble. The momentary satisfaction of letting go isn’t worth the difficulties I will experience as a result.

In this manner, you may talk yourself into being sensible. This rational procedure will slow down your anger-reactions, and help you rise above the provocation. In other words, meet anger with urbanity.

“Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).
This verse teaches us to be alert to people and situations but always to react slowly to emotional stimuli.

The longer you can keep quiet the more effective will be your reactions. Don’t say the sharp words, do not make the quick retort, do not write that nasty letter–or, if you do, tear it up. Say nothing. Keep quiet. Make no rejoinder. Practice the great strategy of delay....  “do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26).

Never let a day end without getting rid of your anger. This advice is psychologically very sound. Empty anger out every night to keep it from accumulating. In your prayers drain off any anger content that may be in your mind.

Forgive everybody and practice the great art of forgetting. You can build up resistance to anger by letting these verses soak into your thought processes until they exert an automatic check upon your emotional reactions. Study them. Memorize them. Use them.

View Comments