When I was in seventh grade, I started a fight on the playfield. We were playing football, and a player on the other side knocked me down with a perfect block. I jumped to my feet with fists balled up and swung. Isn’t it funny, sad funny, how long-lasting anger memories can be? I can also remember long-ago events in which someone hurt me. Even if we later thought of ourselves as friends, I never forgot the pain, and so I will never fully trust that person again.
Anger and angry talk are family and home destroyers. When you go off, you may soon calm down and forget what you said. “I didn’t mean it,” you say. “I was only venting.” But the family member who was the victim of your name-calling will have a knife in his or her back forever. A wife whose husband put down her looks will never feel pretty again. A husband whose wife treated him like a child will never stand tall again.
Here’s a better way: “The fruit of the Spirit is . . . gentleness” (Galatians 5:22,23). Watch your mouth! Words said in anger can never be unsaid. You don’t have to eat words that never made it past your teeth. The angrier you are, the less your brain is functioning. Speak softly. Ask questions. Listen harder. Keep a muzzle on your temper—nothing good ever came from a blowup.
Assume the best in people, not the worst.