Once the words leave our mouth…well, it’s just too late. What’s said is said and you can’t, contrary to popular belief, take it back. You might wish you could but it’s not possible. The damage that can be done with unguarded lips and a loose tongue can be devastating! Indeed, loose lips sink ships is a truism if ever there was one!
I know I’m not the only one who has spoken in anger and caused hurt to someone else. It happens every day and in almost every setting from the Church to the office space. And yes, people get hurt in the church every Sunday!! The tongue is a powerful weapon and if wielded in anger it can destroy people’s lives. The tongue is such a small thing too. For most of the day, unless you’re a yapper, the tongue is hidden from view. You never see it except when you’re blessing or cursing something or someone!! Yet look at the damage that the tongue can inflict. Marriages end, companies go bankrupt, and countries go to war all over the spoken word. Failure to control your anger could be the number one health issue affecting your life.
I firmly believe what the Bible teaches about our words. Our words, when spoken in faith, have creative ability and power. We can literally speak things into existence and we often do without thinking. If I wake up in the morning and curse the day because I’m tired and don’t want to go to work, guess what my day is going to look like? If I say to myself that I will never get this job right or this relationship right or articulate any other negative statement about my present reality that is exactly what I am going to get! My words are setting up an environment of failure when I seed the 4th dimension with negativity. Remember that old commercial that said “you are what you eat”? Well, in many ways you are what you say too!
My words, spoken carelessly over my own life, provide the material for the spirit or Spirit to work with; therefore, I always try to speak in the affirmative. This is how I control my Anger. I want to declare good things for my life and for that of my family. But, if I get angry and give my tongue full license to act, I am sabotaging myself or someone else. I believe this is why the Bible teaches us to be angry but don’t sin and not to let the sun go down on our wrath (Eph 4:26-27). The sin comes from the harm we do to others when we speak out and fail to control our anger. We should always strive to repair whatever hurt our words cause and do so before the day ends.
But boy is this hard or what! I won’t go full spectrum bible here but we have to be wise as serpents but harmless as doves. We have to guard our mouths and watch what we say even when our tempers get the best of us. You could cripple someone’s dream by speaking poisonous words over their life. Anger I believe is a mechanism for corruption. When I say that what I mean is that anger, while it is a very human emotion, makes it easier to destroy. Anger makes it so much easier to dish out the baser elements of our nature. It provides a cloak for actions that are designed to maim or destroy. Anger is not a creative gift but one of destruction.
So if we are able to control our tongues we are able to control a great deal of power. The key is expression. If I get angry, my immediate task is to pause, breath, and reflect. Controlling anger is about two things in my opinion: Timing and connection. If you release your anger as soon as that spark ignites, you will lose the benefit of timing and spit something out that will create havoc. But if you slow down you allow enough time and space to give the second controlling component a chance to become active. That second component is a living connection. What I mean by this is your connection to God’s Spirit. God will give you perfect peace if your mind and thoughts are focused on Him (Isa 26:2-4).
So perhaps the ultimate goal is to work on forming a habit which incorporates those two components. Try to take a moment each morning to actively think on good things, to focus on His peace and relax. On your lunch breaks, actively pause and dedicate some time to focus on your breathing, to slowing down, to listening for God’s voice in the peace that follows. Actively think about counting out to ten as an exercise when your hand first hits the door leaving or arriving to your home. Make this a practice every morning or evening for 21 days and controlling your anger will be a natural habit!!