Cool down, then talk: Don’t let sun set on unresolved anger

Last time, we started to think through ways to break the patterns of anger that sometimes creep into our lives and remain there until we proactively decide to do something about it.

If you have anger issues, chances are good that you already have found that they typically do not resolve themselves.

A modern paraphrase of Proverbs 14:29 reads like this: “Slowness to anger makes for deep understanding; a quick-tempered person stockpiles stupidity.”

Have you ever seen somebody acting really stupid because they were angry? Perhaps they decided to punch something, throw something or do something really foolish to express their anger.

They were stockpiling stupidity. That is what a quick-tempered person does.

Anger is such a dangerous emotion. It is so volatile. It can shorten your life expectancy.

It damages relationships, and it typically hurts the people that we love the most. Why wouldn’t you want to get a handle on such a potentially destructive force?

Ephesians 4 speaks to breaking the pattern of anger. The Apostle Paul said, “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” (vs. 26-27) Taking responsibility for your anger is a matter of self-control. You have a choice to make. You can choose to break the pattern of anger in your life or you can choose to let it continue. It is up to you.

One tangible thing you can do to break the pattern of anger is learn to walk away and cool off before having potentially volatile conversations.

If you speak when you’re angry, chances are pretty good that you’ll deliver the best speech you’ll ever regret. If you decide not to let the sun go down while you are angry, that means cooling off first but still having the talk sometime soon. Otherwise, the temptation is to put it off indefinitely.

If the issue was big enough to generate such emotion, it is big enough that it needs to be addressed as soon as possible but away from the emotion of the moment.

Certain personalities might get away from the heat of the moment and then decide it is not worth stirring things up again by resurrecting the conversation. You might be tempted to avoid the confrontation completely.

You subconsciously sweep it under the rug, but it is an unresolved issue that in all likelihood will come up later. Back off long enough to cool down, but then talk about it before the end of the day.

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