Before You Retaliate, Calculate the Cost
“People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.” (Proverbs 14:29 NLT)
You’re less likely to get angry when somebody’s pushing your buttons if you realize there’s always a price for returning anger for anger.
The Bible is very specific about uncontrolled anger:
- Proverbs 29:22: “An angry person causes trouble; a person with a quick temper sins a lot” (NCV).
- Proverbs 15:18: “Hot tempers cause arguments” (GN).
- Proverbs 14:29: “A hot temper shows great foolishness” (NLT).
When you get angry, there is a cost: You’re going to get in trouble. You’re going to sin. You’re going to cause arguments. You’re going to make mistakes.
When you lose your temper, you always lose, whether it’s respect, the love of your family, your health, or even your job.
Maybe you use anger to motivate people to do the right thing. Don’t do it! In the short run, you may get the short-term payoff. But in the long run, anger always produces more anger, more apathy, and more alienation.
How many kids have become alienated from their dads or their moms because of out-of-control anger? How many people have been alienated from a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a husband, a wife, or a friend because one of them lost their cool? Anger destroys relationships faster than anything else.
So when someone starts pushing your buttons, before you retaliate, just ask yourself, “Do I really want to do this? Do I want to make mistakes? Do I want to sin more? Do I want to cause arguments? Do I want to act foolish?”
Proverbs 14:29 says, “People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.”
There is always a price for anger. Before you retaliate, calculate the cost.
Talk About It
- What would it look like if you let go of your anger and gave it to God?
- What methods do you use to keep your cool when someone gets angry at you or attacks you?
- What has anger cost your relationships?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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