When Ulisses Soares, a religious leader, stated, “Another important step to becoming meek is learning how to control our temper,” I sat up and carefully listened to his advice. I’ve done a pretty good job keeping my temper a bay, but once it surfaces, I lose. I want a Christ like attitude and he said we need the attribute meekness to get this.
Many associate meekness with weakness. Over the years I’ve learned it’s not, but the association still lingers. Soares reminded me the qualities of meekness — God fearing, kind, humble, teachable, gentle, righteous and patient — are those Jesus Christ exemplified. Meekness is submissive, docile, calm and tolerant.
I agreed with Soares, my temper is a challenge, especially toward family members. But I thought I was tolerant until he questioned some common reactions.
Three is my limit and my limit is three. That’s it. If I have to ask a third time, I lose. I’m not easygoing, patient or understanding as I stomp, rant and do it myself.
What, you don’t agree with me? I’ve thought it through, including your side, and my way is better, period. Ask my husband how often our discussions go this way. It’s embarrassing. Although, I’m sure his response would be he doesn’t know what you’re talking about. Like the Lord, forgiveness is given and the act forgotten.
A bad mood is returned in kind. This one I often see coming and I manage to control my response as long as I’m not pressed beyond my ability to control. This one actually sees tolerance.
Anger is expressed through the lack of controlling our temper. Many examples in the scriptures guide us how to control our anger and show us the Lord’s control of his anger.
Anger expresses itself in two ways — verbally and physically. Both forms are harmful to the family, friendships and the soul.
Boyd K. Packer, a religious leader, said studying and following the doctrines of Christ's gospel will improve behavior more quickly than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Following the gospel, as laid out in scripture, leads people to a Christ like attitude and helps us to follow as Proverbs 15:1 reminds us, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
You wonder how I can speak of control when the above evidence indicates I still need work. As I have grown and matured, my anger has expressed itself less. However, I haven’t reached a consistent true Christ like anger-free attitude, nor am I always a good example, but this is my goal.
I come from a loud family and in anger and excitement, my voice raises. When I catch myself, or when someone reminds me, I control it and move on. I have a long way to go with my temper and I rely strongly on the grace of Christ.
I strive to stay calm and there’s a difference between childhood and early in our marriage. Like our abilities that grow as we mature, controlling my temper is progressing toward the positive.
I am working on anger control with help from my husband, children, through prayer and reading the scriptures. I try very hard to stop the reactions as I think about the Savior and his example. Family and friends kindly remind me of my goal. More often than not, I succeed. Failure often comes when I’m tired or the other side continues to push. Then I try to think, it takes two and I won’t be the one.
I’m not where I want, but I strive to improve each day through prayer and scripture study, even if it’s only one millimeter at a time.