We’ve been conditioned, in some ways, to believe that anger is bad, wrong, and generally not a good thing. No wonder, considering that anger is often behind many of the uglier things we see in this old world of ours. Anger seems to be the driving emotion behind a lot of destructive behaviors.
- Stuffing Your Anger
- Expressing Anger Inappropriately
- Experiencing Needless Anger
- Escalating Our Anger
- Developing an Anger Addiction
- Anger Is Often Not Righteous. (Jas 1:20; Rom 12:17-21)
- Anger Controls. Eph 4:26; Acts 17:16
- Anger Is Very Deceptive. Jer 17:9-10; Eph 4:25
Anger That Blames
- We typically try to justify our anger.
- We deny our anger or call it something else.
- We blame our anger on something outside of ourselves.
- We blame genetics (nature) or our upbringing (nurture).
Jesus’ Teaching On Anger – Mark 7:14-23
Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand. 15 It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.” 16, Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.
17 Then Jesus went into a house to get away from the crowd, and his disciples asked him what he meant by the parable he had just used. 18 “Don’t you understand either? ”he asked. “Can’t you see that the food you put into your body cannot defile you?
19 Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.)
20 And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you.
21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder,22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”
Anger’s True Identity
What Causes Out-of-Control Anger?
- Scripture deals with most Anger as a sin issue. Matt 5:21-22; Jas 1:19-20; 4:1; Eph 4:26-27; Col 3:8; Prov 14:29; 15:18; 19:19; 22:24; 29:22; 2 Cor 7:10-11
- Scripture teaches that Anger begins in the heart. Mark 7:21; Matt 12:34
- We become Angry because we want something (too much). Jas 4:1-4; Isa 55:1-2
Ask Yourself What Do I Seek?
- What do I seek and treasure more than Jesus?
- A legitimate desire when it becomes a controlling desire (or demand) becomes a sinfully idolatrous desire.
- Angry people have false beliefs that they possess certain rights including the right to express their anger (judgment/revenge) when their rights are violated.
- Angry people often succeed in getting what they want by manipulating others.
- In the end angry people experience loss (including the loss of their “Idols”).
What Are Some Psychology Strategies People Use to Deal With Anger?
- Secular psychology promotes Anger Management – Expressing, Suppressing, Calming.
- Secular strategies try to keep anger at bay by Relaxation, Cognitive Restructuring, Problem Solving, Communication, Humor, Changing Environment, Counseling.
Although these methodologies are good and experienced with success. As Jesus explained they do not address the heart of Anger.
Dealing With Anger?
Proverbs 29:22 An angry person starts fights; a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool.
- Venting. Prov 12:18; 29:11; 25:28; Eph 4:29,31; Jas 1:19; 4:11-12; Gal 5:15; Rom 12:19-21; 1 Pet 3:8-9; Num 20:6-12
- Displacement Matt 5:21-22
- Internalizing. Lev 19:17-18; 1 Kgs 21:4; Eph 4:31
- Excusing. Jas 1:13-15; 19-20; 1 Cor 10:13
- I want something too much – Idolatry. Jas 4:1-4; Isa 55:1-2; Rom 1:25
- I am not the Judge – God Is. Jas 1:19-20; 4:19-20; Gen 50:19; 1 Pet 2:23; Matt 7:1ff; 1 Cor 4:5; Rom 12:17-21
- God is very gracious to me – In Christ. Exod 34:6; Ps 103:8; Eph 4:31-32; Col 3:13; Matt 18:22-35; 1 Tim 1:15-16; Rom 5:10, 3:21-26; Prov 19:11; 1 Pet 4:8
- God is in control – He is doing good and will not give me more than I can bear. 1 Cor 10:13; Gen 50:21; Rom 8:28; Acts 2:23; Ps 103:19; Jas 1:2ff; 1 Pet 1:6-7; Prov 21:1
- Remember who I am – A new creation in Jesus Christ. Rom 6:11; 2 Cor 5:17; 1 Pet 4:1-6; 1 Cor 10:13; Gal 5:13-16, 19-23; Titus 3:3
Practical Ways To Calm Down
- God’s grace helps me to exercise self-control, patience and gentleness. 1 Cor 13:4-5; Jas 1:19; Titus 1:7; Prov 12:16; 14:29; 16:32; 19:11; 29:8, 11; 14:17; Col 3:19
- God’s grace enables me to speak with gentleness and grace. Prov 15:1; Eph 4:29
- Their sin is primarily against God – it is not about me! Ps 51:4
- My objective is to restore not to vent or to judge. Matt 4:21
- If I am to help, I must be “spiritual” and gentle. Gal 5:13-23
- Don’t be quarrelsome. Prov 17:14; 29:3; 26:20; 1 Pet 3:7
- Deal with your anger and conflict quickly. Eph 4:26-27; Matt 5:23-24; 7:1
- Prepare for the temptation of anger. Prov 21:5
- Seek God’s help through prayer. Heb 4:16