Summary: 31st message in a series from Ephesians continuing an exploration of how to deal with anger.
“Defusing sinful anger through Soul Care”
I. ANALYZE ANGER
A. Understand the character of anger
It is an internal emotional power surge in response to a perceived evil, attack or uncomfortable situation.
B. Consider the purpose of anger
It alerts us to evil in our own soul or in the world around us.
Anger is the soul’s response to perceived or actual events, people or circumstances considered wrong, evil or threatening to my well-being or to those I love that empowers me to act in relation to God’s purposes.
C. Discover the cause of anger
My response to an event has more to do with something inside me than the event itself.
1. Beliefs, values, convictions – the way we THINK things should be
2. Personal expectations / goals – the way we WANT things to be
3. Personal perception – the way we PERCEIVE things to be
D. Follow the course of anger (circle of emotion)
1. It begins in the soul (the fuel)
2. It is triggered by and person or event (the igniter)
3. It generates an emotional Response
4. It requires personal reflection
5. It leads to a chosen response or action
E. Address the soul issues that intensify anger
If you understand the relationship between anger and your beliefs, expectations and perceptions, you will be able to direct godly anger to a Spirit-directed response that brings about godly purposes or defuse fleshly anger by adjusting those beliefs, expectations and perceptions according to truth. Anger is an automatic response to perceived evil. My perception and interpretation of any event is sometimes clouded by issues in the soul.
There are a number of soul issues that activate an agitated state of mind/emotion or intensify my anger or they may derail a response to legitimate anger by triggering an illegitimate reflection or response. Illus: Certain chemicals are harmless by themselves but become toxic when combined with another chemical. (Chlorine and ammonia)
Responses to life events become toxic because of the presence of certain other unmanaged issues in our life.
1. Unaddressed Sin -- Guilt
Failure to regularly and properly address sin in our life stirs or intensifies our anger. Guilt causes us to overreact to the same sin in others that we ourselves have failed to address.
A certain Televangelist used to rant and rave about prostitution all the time. (overreaction)
It turned out he had been secretly soliciting the services of prostitutes on a regular basis.
Prolonged guilt over unaddressed sin can cultivate an angry spirit; a general state of agitation.
Unconfessed and unaddressed sin in our life obstructs our ability to effectively evaluate sin in others. Unaddressed sin distorts our conscience which in turn affects how we process life.
We will either overreact or under respond.
The “Log Jam”
Jesus exhorts us to address the “log” in your own eye before we attempt to challenge “the splinter” from the eye of others. (Luke 6:41-42 or Matt 7:5). Notice the colossal contrast between log and splinter. The “log” (significant issue) in our life causes us to exaggerate the “splinter” (insignificant issue) in someone else’s life.
King David overreacted to evil in 2 Samuel 12 when Nathan the prophet recounted a little imaginary story about the confiscation and slaughter of a poor man’s lamb by a rich man.
David’s guilt over his own sin with Bathsheba had raged for at least eight months causing him to react beyond reason. (The baby was born shortly after the confrontation with Nathan.)
Psalm 32 reveals the internal struggle David felt during that time.
Yes, David reacted to a bona fide injustice. Yet David’s response was completely unreasonable due to his own guilty conscience.
Then David's anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, "As the LORD lives, surely the man who has done this deserves to die. He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion." 2 Samuel 12:5-6
David’s anger defused immediately when Nathan caused him to realize the even greater gravity of his own sin.
Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." 2 Samuel 12:13
Corinthian Unconfessed Immorality
The people of Corinth failed to properly address past sin in their life was affecting their present relationships.
I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there may be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances; I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced. 2 Cor 12:20-21