Summary: Checked anger is healthy and will be used by God. Unchecked anger is always bad/unhealthy. Learn how to check your anger.
Turn to Ephesians 4:25-32
Seeming contradiction between v.26 “in your anger do not sin” and v.31 “get rid of anger”
Let’s see if we can resolve the tension
Your Old Self
Walk through background to Ephesians 4:25-32
Paul contrasts Gentile behavior with behavior of Christ followers v.17.
Darkened understanding, separated from the life of God b/c of ignorance due to the hardening of their hearts. Lost all sensitivity, given up to sensuality, indulge in every kind of impurity with continual lust for more.
Put off the old self which is being corrupted by deceitful desires
Put on new self created to be like God
Falsehood, anger, stealing, unwholesome talk, grieving the Spirit. Seem separate, but I want you to see the connection.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood
Are you silent about your feelings, withdrawn, holding back forgiveness? These are signs of anger.
Profitable lie is better than hurtful truth (Matthew Henry)
So we deny, ignore, and repress our anger
26 Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
Family members: wait weeks/months to share anger with us
Friend: waited all day to share frustration w/ me
Anger is a great visitor; lousy roommate, terrible spouse
Horace: “Anger is momentary insanity.”
27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
Literally: "a place"
Latin proverb says, "He who goes to bed angry goes to bed with the devil."
Devil: comes to steal…
28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer
Bandits frequented the mountains of Ephesus
Anger has us taking
Stealing: all wrong doing by either by force or fraud
You say, “I haven’t stolen anything in a long time”
Work pays little, so we take home items
Spouse not responding so we without sex
Store prices high, cashier mis-manages in your favor
Physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse
All usually stem from anger
Anger starts to show up in our language
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matt. 12:34)
Rotten fruit or fish (unfit for use)
Can all stem from anger
How do you think God’s Spirit feels about our unwholesome talk?
God’s Spirit within us
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God
Lying, refusal to deal with angry feelings, foothold, stealing, the language all grieves the Spirit. That is the bad news. It has to do with unchecked anger.
I don’t want to grieve God’s Spirit; I don’t think you do. We needs some good news.
Anger may come into the bosom of a wise man, but it rests only in the bosom of a fool. Matthew Henry
Anger can not be left unchecked
It is difficult for us to practice a truly holy anger or righteous indignation because our emotions are tainted by sin, and we do not have the same knowledge that God has in all matters. Warren Wiersbe
So we have to check our anger
Checked anger is healthy and will be used by God. Unchecked anger always bad/unhealthy, checked anger always good/healthy.
Anger is one letter short of danger.
Anger is like a check engine light.
It is a natural response.
It is a God-given emotion.
State of readiness.
Like an engine light, it signals that you have work to do to resolve a problem.
U can chose to ignore it; the light might even go off, but it will be back and in the mean while you may have done damage to your engine.
Checking your Anger…
Is my response to anger reflecting my New Self in Christ? v.22-24
Restrain your 1st response or instinct (natural man)
Count to 10
Call a time-out
Leave the room (w/ intention of returning)
20 minute break
Am I speaking the truth? v.25
Some Christian environments have taught anger is always a sin and so we learn to suppress it.
Checking anger can bring true feelings to light, but you have to express them.
“Speaking truthfully” b/c we are all (one body) or in this together
Good marriages: both partners tend to be assertive
"Truth: conforming one’s words to reality."
Bible Knowledge Commentary
Say to yourself...
I am angry about ___________.What am I going to do about it?
Rating scale: 1-10 (are you being honest about how angry you are?)
Am I dealing with anger in a timely manner? v. 26
Don’t let the sun go down (start of the Jewish day). Don’t take it to bed with you
v.31 “get rid of it”
Can you overlook the fault? Do it!
Even if it is righteous anger, the longer it goes unchecked, the greater the chances it can turn to unrighteous anger.