by Rick Warren
The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.” (Proverbs 29:25 MSG)
If you’re going to get control of anger in your life, you must base your identity on Jesus, understanding that he loves you unconditionally, that you are his, that you are valuable, and that he has a purpose and plan for your life.
If you build your identity on anything else, you’ll struggle with insecurity your whole life. You can build your identity on your job, but you can lose your job. You can build your identity on how good-looking you are, but you may lose your good looks. You can build your identity on the person you married, but he or she is going to die. You can build your identity on being popular, but you’re not always going to be popular.
If you build your identity on anything that can be taken away from you, you’re going to be insecure, and insecurity is at the root of your anger. Until you start feeling secure about yourself, people are going to be able to push your buttons. When you know who you are and whose you are, people can’t push your buttons. They can’t get to you. Anger and insecurity go together. The more insecure you feel, the angrier you feel.
The Bible says in Proverbs 29:25, “The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that”(MSG).
When you get angry, your mouth just reveals what’s inside your heart. A harsh tongue reveals an angry heart. A negative tongue reveals a fearful heart. A boasting tongue reveals an insecure heart. An overactive tongue reveals an unsettled heart. A judgmental tongue reveals a guilty heart. A critical tongue reveals a bitter heart. A filthy tongue reveals an impure heart.
On the other hand, an encouraging tongue reveals a happy heart, a gentle tongue reveals a loving heart, and a controlled tongue reveals a peaceful heart.
You know what you need to get rid of your anger problem? You need a heart transplant. Fortunately, God specializes in them. It’s called salvation! God gives you a brand new heart and a brand new identity. You don’t have to find your identity in your job or your bank account or your good looks or your relationships, because you find your identity in what God says about you.
Jesus can heal the three things that cause anger: hurt, frustration, and fear. Jesus can heal your hurting heart with his love. Jesus can replace your frustrated heart with his peace. Jesus can replace your insecure heart with his power.
If you pick up a crying baby and hold it close so that it feels warm and secure, it stops crying. It stops being angry. When you feel secure and accepted in Jesus Christ, your anger is going to dissipate.
Pray this prayer today: “Dear God, I admit I have a problem with my anger. I let other people push my buttons, I get even, and I don’t think before speaking. I’m asking for your help. Help me to reflect before reacting. Help me to learn to release my anger appropriately. Help me to find my identity completely in you. I open myself completely to you. Come into my life. Save me. Make the changes that only you can make. In your name I pray. Amen.”