Practical Ways to Rule Over Your Emotions
The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”
Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. – Genesis 4:6-8
Despite receiving a warning from God, Cain was still not able to overcome the heat of anger. Being unable to control his rage, he made the decision that led to the first ever murder incident in human history.
Who are we to frown on Cain, though? Even today, it is so easy to hastily deal with things that enrage us. When we are wronged or ridiculed, we can just recklessly do whatever we feel like doing.
Letting this happen, however, is dangerous. When we allow our hearts to be filled with rage and let ourselves lose our self-control, we are on our way to making dangerous decisions – ones that can even lead to our own destruction.
It is vital, therefore, for us Christians to intentionally change our attitude and rule over our emotions. Here are some practical ways to do that.
Suppress yourself from speaking hateful words
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. – Ephesians 4:29
Jesus warns us to be careful of what comes out of our mouths because we can defile ourselves not through the food that we eat, but the things that we say (Matthew 15:11). Before blurting out anything, remind yourself of your identity. You are a child of God, and God’s children speak with grace (Colossians 4:6).
Forget about getting vengeance
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. – Leviticus 19:18
Discipline yourself to repay evil with good because that’s what God expects from us. He does not ask us to defend ourselves from wrongdoers. Instead, God tells us to trust Him and leave vengeance to His hands (Deuteronomy 32:35). To stay at arm’s length with the sin of hurting others, strive to do what is good for others (1 Thessalonians 5:15), regardless if they offend you.
Go immediately to God
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. – John 14:26
Ask the Lord to remove the anger from your heart and replace it with patience. Take a moment to literally pause and pray. This way, you can be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s conviction on the right decision to make.
How do you respond when others mistreat you? Do you lose your temper? Do you act in haste? Do you make foolish decisions? Whatever situation you’re in, God promises never to abandon you. Resolve to practice self-control. Don’t let rage take over. Remember, “a man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls” (Proverbs 25:28).