“The Ways of Young Men”
As a young man of God, you must be mindful of your “ways.” By this, I am referring to your temperament (behavior) or, more specifically, your “temper.” One of the biggest sin struggles young men deal with is rooted in how they manage their emotions – particularly anger.
Whether it’s conflict with your parents, pressure from your teachers, rivalry with your teammates, or even girl-related frustrations, keeping your emotions in-check can be tough. As a Christian, the challenge can be even greater – perhaps, at times, even overwhelming – with everyone expecting you to “act like Jesus” and never lose your cool. (No pressure there, right?)
The thing is, Jesus got angry. (John 2:13-17) In fact, God gets angry all the time when He thinks about how terrible the world He created has become. (Psalm 7:11) God has emotions and, “in His image,” He made you to have emotions. He expects you to feel, and to be moved to action based on those feelings.
Anger, all by itself, is not a sin. It’s an emotional response that God made you to feel – just like He does! It’s how you choose to act on your anger where the potential for sin arises. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
What does the Bible teach about anger and why you need to control your “way” with it?
James, the brother of Jesus, says that in anger-charged situations, you need to slow down, take a breath, and hear things out before you let yourself get worked up. (James 1:19) Sure, you might be angry, but an angry response may not be the best course of action! If you’ll take a moment to listen and think things through, as James suggests, you’ll often find that there is a peaceable, sin-avoiding solution. (Proverbs 29:11)
King Solomon, meanwhile, recommends not letting people push your buttons in the first place. (Ecclesiastes 7:9) He compares a man who can’t control himself and his anger to a city with no defenses. (Proverbs 25:28) Solomon also warns that anger, left unchecked, can drive other Christians away. (Proverbs 22:24) I admit, not letting someone push your buttons is easier said than done, but, for a young man of God, to do so demonstrates spiritual maturity. (Proverbs 14:29)
Remember, too, what Jesus said: “Blessed are the peacemakers” – not the angry dudes who constantly lose their cool and stir up trouble. (Matthew 5:9)