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Anger Starts in the Heart
By Rick Warren

“Whatever is in your heart determines what you say.” Matthew 12:34 (NLT)

How does God help you with a bad habit of anger? He goes straight to the heart of the problem because it is a problem in the heart.

Anger doesn’t start in your behavior, your background, or your feelings. It begins in the heart.

The Bible says, “Whatever is in your heart determines what you say” (Matthew 12:34 NLT). Our mouths just reveal what we’re really like inside. Sometimes I hear people say something really mean or unkind, and then they say, “Oh, I don’t know what got into me. That’s not like me.”

Oh, yes it is! Your mouth just reveals what’s in your heart. Someone’s harsh tongue reveals an angry heart. When you meet somebody with a negative tongue, you know he’s got a fearful heart. A boasting tongue reveals an insecure heart. A judgmental tongue exposes a guilty heart. And a filthy tongue represents an impure heart.

On the other hand, if you find somebody who’s always encouraging others, she has a happy heart. If he’s always speaking in a gentle way, you know he’s got a loving heart. If she’s able to control her words, you know she’s got a peaceful heart.

Are you satisfied with the words that naturally come out of your mouth? If not, then you need a heart transplant. You need a new heart! David says in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (NIV).

The real secret to managing anger is God’s power to change you on the inside. Romans 15:5 says, “May the patience and encouragement that come from God allow you to live in harmony with each other the way Christ Jesus wants” (NCV).

If your heart is crying out, it’s because you haven’t ever fully received the warmth and security of a relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus can replace a hurting heart with his love. He cares about your pain, and he will help you heal so that your words give life and reveal the hope you have in Christ.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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