Have you ever been in the midst of a bad situation, and you just responded the wrong way? Maybe looking back, you wish you had handled it differently? We have all been in those situations.

I’m sure someone has stolen from you, treated you badly, lied about you or used you and then thrown you away like yesterday’s trash. I know I’ve certainly experienced all of those things!

You want to know something? (You may not like it…) Hurt really IS a part of life. People will hurt you. They will mess up, take offense, lash out or take out their childhood trauma on you. And, guess what?! You or I can do NOTHING to change that! You can’t control people!

However, you can control one thing: your response to others. Reacting, overreacting or letting it fester are never good ways to respond. And if this is your method of coping with hurt and offense, trust me, it’s time for a new one! Let’s face it: repeating the cycle of offense only intensifies, each time you are provoked.

Look, I used to be the one who overreacted – all the time. So, I began to search out scriptures to help me in this area. I posted them on the walls of my bathroom, where I would see them several times, every single day.

Here’s one I found: “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger calms a dispute.” (Proverbs 15:18)

Our culture is excessively hot-tempered, to the point where it has become the norm. But if you can stay in control of your anger, you have the power to CALM a dispute! Allowing yourself to be provoked, will only add fuel to that hot-burning fire.

But my favorite verse is in the next chapter… “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.” (Proverbs 16:32) Did you catch that?! If you can rule your spirit, you have the power to capture a city.

If you overreact or allow someone or something to anger you, it allows someone else to rule your spirit. However, through and with your Father in heaven, you can – and will – be slow to anger, gracious and compassionate. Without Him, you will continue repeating the same patterns over and over again, while expecting people to treat you differently. And guess what? That will NEVER happen! Because you cannot control people! And when you overreact, you actually provoke the other person even more!

I want you to take a look at the conflicts in your life – past or present. How could you have responded better? Do you tend to overreact? Do you get angry? Hurt? Do you really rule your own spirit, or do you allow someone else to do that?

Take some time today and do a little bit of research. Look up as many scriptures you can find in the Bible about anger, ruling your spirit, being slow to anger. Ask God to show you even more strategies to help you rule your spirit and be slow to anger. When you find them, make a list, or even take the time to journal and write down what you’ve discovered about yourself, your relationships, your habits and what God has shown you.

I would love to know your thoughts. What did you learn? What did God show you through this? Leave your comments below!

Then, be sure to tune in for our weekly Spiritual Equipping episode of The Dani Johnson Show today for more biblical insights and inspiration. You can find the show on your TV and radio and please remember you can always stream today’s show right here on our website.

In great faith,

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