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More Practical Steps to Overcome Anger

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
Our flesh will fail us but the Holy Spirit will empower us to gain victory over our sinful anger.

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A Christian who makes excuses for his or her angry spirit cannot live a life that is pleasing to God. If we are quick-tempered and given to angry outbursts, we sabotage our most earnest efforts to be light and salt.

Our greatest strategy for conquering anger is to memorize God’s Word diligently and consistently.

We continue with our consideration of how to develop a practical plan to overcome the sinful habit of angry responses.


After we repent of our anger and decide that we expect to win the war, the third step is to memorize scripture verses that relate to God’s perspective of anger. These verses will serve as an effective weapon with which to fight the spiritual battle to overcome sin. God’s Word is alive, powerful and able to effect life-changing results.


The flesh will fail us but the Holy Spirit will empower us to gain victory over anger.

Our natural inclinations betray us. We cannot control anger by a mere resolution of our will. God commands us to conquer anger, and our only hope for attaining victory lies in learning to think with the mind of Christ. The Holy Spirit accomplishes this transformation of our mind as we memorize key Bible passages that refer to anger.


The fourth step to overcome anger is to reinforce our will by a bond of accountability. This principle is one of the most powerful means to overcome temptation. We set ourselves up for failure when we have only ourselves to answer to.


When we ask a trusted Christian friend to hold us accountable for our commitment we obey the command of James 5:16,

Confess your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Each time that we contact our accountability partner to ask for prayer when we are tempted to react in anger, we greatly increase our chance for success. If, for example, we lose the battle against anger three times each week, we will experience over one hundred fifty defeats per year. If, during the first year of our spiritual battle, our accountability partner helps us to reduce these defeats by half, we will make significant progress toward being free from anger.

God wants us to keep running for the goal, regardless of how many times we stumble and fall.

The fifth step to overcome anger is to be determined to press on in spite of failure and discouragement. The writer of Proverbs 24:10 exhorts us, “If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength.” Jesus tells us in Matthew 26:41, always to be on prayerful alert because “the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Christians do not have the option to give up in the battle against anger.

The final step is to learn to live in the fear of God. We read in Proverbs 16:6, “By the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil.” A Christian cannot justify sinful anger unless he or she chooses to temporarily ignore God’s presence in his or her life.

We must seek to develop a moment-by-moment awareness that God is watching and weighing every one of our words, thoughts, actions and attitudes. God reminds us in Proverbs 5:21,

The ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord; He ponders all his goings.



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