Standing Firm in Fearful Times

Ceasing from Anger: The Power of Emotional Self-Control

Sep 5, 2023

“Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.” (Psalm 37:8, NIV)

In today’s world, we face an abundance of situations that can trigger anger, frustration, and worry. News headlines, social media feeds, personal relationships, workplace issues—the potential sources are endless. Psalm 37:8 implores us to refrain from anger and wrath, not out of suppression, but from a place of self-control, understanding, and wisdom.

Anger, when left unchecked, often gives birth to actions and decisions we might regret later. It blinds us from rational thinking and empathy, making us prone to hurt others and ourselves. The Bible isn’t implying that we should ignore or suppress our feelings of anger—it’s teaching us about the wisdom of self-control and the potential destructiveness of unchecked anger.

But there’s another emotion mentioned in this verse: worry or “fretting.” Like anger, worry can consume us and lead us down a path we didn’t intend to travel. It robs us of our peace, steals our joy, and takes our eyes off God, who is our comfort and strength.

The beauty of this verse lies in its underlying invitation—an invitation to rely on God for our emotional wellbeing. When we’re feeling angry, God invites us to bring that anger to Him. He can handle it. He understands our frustrations and is capable of calming our raging seas. The same goes for our worries. God doesn’t want us to carry them alone. He wants us to cast all our worries on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

So, let us practice emotional self-control, relying on God’s strength when anger and worry threaten to overwhelm us. When we do, we’re choosing a path that leads not to evil, but to peace, wisdom, and closeness with our Heavenly Father.

Wonder in the Word

What strategies can you implement to ensure that anger and worry don’t lead you astray from God’s path for your life?