"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. —Ephesians 4:26-27
A study of nine thousand British civil servants, reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that prolonged anger is bad for one's health. Participants who were involved in hostile, critical relationships were 34 percent more likely to have a heart attack or chest pain compared to participants who had emotional support and frequent opportunities to voice their feelings in a healthy way.
Anger in itself is not necessarily wrong. But impatient anger that fails to take the other person's needs into account can be destructive. That's one of the reasons why it's so important to show patience in our words and actions, even when we are upset with someone. Patience gives us a chance to apply reason to the emotions that might otherwise cause us to do or say something unloving.
Ephesians 4:26-27 reminds us that controlling our anger is a spiritual issue. When we fail to control our anger, we give Satan an opportunity to attack us—and our minds, bodies, and relationships all take a beating.
Picture a situation you sometimes find yourself in that triggers anger. Now, commit yourself to take a step—such as counting to ten, leaving the room, or putting your hand over your mouth—that will help you use patience to control your anger.
Dr. Gary Chapman is the beloved best-selling author of The Five Love Languages and Love as a Way of Life. For more information, click here.