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This morning we’re going to talk about what anger is. Is it wrong to become angry? As well as some other things around anger and what God has to say about anger.
So, what is anger? It is an emotion or a range of emotions. It can vary from being hopping mad to just being smolderingly ticked off about things. We usually feel like we have not been treated right, that someone has treated us unkindly.
It is possible to be angry without sinning. God can get angry. Jesus got angry. Being able to experience the emotion of anger is part of being made in God’s image. It would have been good and right for Eve to be angry about what the servant was saying about God.
Although it may be right for Christians to be angered about things at times… we are not to be characterized by anger. People who become angry quickly are not godlike, He is slow to anger.
How does anger lead to sin? Far too often our anger leads us to do things that are not positive things for the kingdom. The most obvious way that anger leads to sin is when our temper gets riled up. You will be a poor soldier if you lose your temper.
No matter how provoked we are, anger never makes striking back ok. Most likely we won’t explode at people, but we are much more likely to find ways to get back at them that are more devious.
Cain’s anger was not valid. God asked him “why are you angry?” He would have saved himself a world of hurt if he would have recognized that his anger was not justified.
Anger can take up residence in our hearts. It was designed to be a visitor to us, but not a long-term resident in our hearts. Not letting the sun go down on our anger suggests dealing with it fairly soon.
Jesus said that being angry at a brother is a risky place to stay, it is something that should be resolved as quickly as possible. Anger should ultimately be replaced with resting in the Lord and trusting Him to take care of things.
So, what should we do when we are angry?
- Admit that you’re angry. It puts the ball in your court. No matter how provoked you are, your response is yours.
- Abort your first inclination in the heat of the moment.
- Apply a selfishness filter to your anger. Recognize to what extent your anger is based on selfish reasons.
- Decide whether you (or someone else) were actually wronged. Was it an accident?
- Take action to resolve the anger. This will vary depending on who you have the issue with. Bring the situation to God and commit it to God.
- Watch out for an internal replay of the event. If you find yourself going back to it over and over, go back to step 5.
The Bible says to be angry and sin not.
– Don’t lose your temper.
– Don’t let your anger turn into passive-aggressive behavior.
– Don’t let anger become a long-term resident.
– Ask yourself if Jesus would have been angry in this situation.
Scriptures used – Jonah 4, Ephesians 4:31, Colossians 3:8, James 1, Proverbs 14:29, Genesis 4, Matthew 5:21