Why You Should Count the Cost of Your Anger Before Taking Action

If you calculate the cost of anger, you're less likely to get angry when somebody's pushing your buttons.

The Bible is very specific about uncontrolled anger:

  • "An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression" (Prov. 29:22, MEV).
  • "A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger appeases strife" (Prov. 15:18,  MEV).
  • "He who is slow to wrath is of great understanding, but he who is hasty of spirit exalts folly" (Prov. 14:29, MEV).

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 somebody lost his or her cool? Anger destroys relationships faster than anything else.

So when someone starts pushing your buttons, before you retaliate, ask yourself, "Do I really want to push back? Do I want to cause a needless argument? Do I want to act foolish and fly off the handle?"

Proverbs 14:29 says, "He who is slow to wrath is of great understanding, but he who is hasty of spirit exalts folly."

Instead of retaliating when someone pushes your buttons, trust that God will help you control your anger. He's right there with you, helping you to let go of your anger.

Talk It Over

  • What methods do you use to keep your cool when someone gets angry with you or attacks you?
  • How might anger have cost you in your relationships?
  • Instead of using anger and intimidation, what is a better way to lead people? {eoa}

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of, a global internet community for pastors.

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