If you're going to get control of anger in your life, you must base your identity in 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 man brings a snare, but whoever puts his trust in the Lord will be safe" (MEV).
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 heart transplants. 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 a heart full of his strength and love.
If you pick up a crying baby and hold him close so that he feels warm and secure, he stops crying. He stops being angry. When you feel secure and accepted in Jesus Christ, your anger is going to dissipate.
Maybe you need to 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. I want to find my identity in You. I surrender myself completely to You. Come into my life. Save me. Amen."
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 pastors.com, a global internet community for pastors.
For the original article, visit pastorrick.com.