Summary: Recognize the damage that fleshly anger can bring. "Anger is the chief saboteur of the mind, a significant factor in the formation of many serious diseases. It is the leading cause of misery, depression, inefficiency, sickness, accidents, loss of work, ti
1. Recognize the damage that fleshly anger can bring.
"Anger is the chief saboteur of the mind, a significant factor in the formation of many serious diseases. It is the leading cause of misery, depression, inefficiency, sickness, accidents, loss of work, time wastage, financial loss in industry, marital conflicts, hyper-tension, alcoholism, frigidity, impotence, children’s defiance, rebellion, & many physical illnesses. Elimination of hostility is a key factor in solving many of life’s serious problems." (Gary Collins, Christian Counseling: A Comprehensive Guide, page 100, Zondervan)
Proverbs 15:1 - A harsh word stirs up strife, but a soft answer turns away wrath.
2. Understand the righteous causes of anger. Anger may be caused by injustice as when Jesus saw how the money-changers were turning the temple into a house for profiteers. Jesus said,
"My Father’s house is for prayer, but you have turned it into a robber’s den." (Matt 21:13) Paul said in Eph 4:26 - Be angry, but sin not, do not let the sun go down on your anger."
Application: In other words, there are times when we should be righteously indignant, but do not let anger become a regular part of your thought process or it will destroy you from within.
3. Appreciate the reasons why some people struggle with anger.
A. When people are rejected or put down or they feel unjustly criticized or humiliated they may react with anger. When Jesus was unjustly persecuted He entrusted Himself to the one whose judgment is best. Jesus said, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake."
B. People who are hurt or threatened often want to take vengeance into their hands. The Bible says, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. Greater is He who is in you than He who is in the world. Vengeance is mine says the Lord I will repay.Do not be overcome with evil overcome evil with good"
C. Some struggle with maintaining a healthy self-esteem. These folks are vulnerable to hurt & often use anger as a defense mechanisms from the natural difficulties of life.
D. Pride plays a big part in anger. When people point out our faults we naturally react with anger.
E. Conditioning contributes to those who have learned angry responses from their environment.
F. Frustration leads to anger because of one’s inability to obtain desires. There may be some obstacle in your path, or a person who is denying you something you feel you deserve, or there may be some deficiency you have not yielded to the Lord or a social, cultural, religious or financial problem that seems to limit you from reaching your goals. Paul said,
"I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. I can do everything God asks me to do with the help of Christ who gives the strength & power." (Phil 4:12,13)
4. Understand some of the factors of anger.
A. We can control our attitudes. Jesus said,
"It is not what goes into a person that defiles them, but what comes out of a man’s heart. It is not what happens to us that is responsible for our anger, but we are responsible for our reactions to provocations. We should not say that the devil made me angry or a certain person caused me to blow-up. Paul said,
"Have the attitude which was in Christ Jesus."
B. Parents sometimes discipline their children out of anger, but God always does it out of love.
C. Certain personalities have a harder time than other controlling their anger.
1). Extroverts express their anger outwardly through shouting, hostility, or actions.
2). Introverts show their anger through sulking, pouting, or refusing to cooperate.
D. Perspectives effect the way we respond to people based upon our world view. Some cultures believe that public anger is a healthy way of expressing discontent at various evils of society.
Western cultures tend to avoid public displays of anger since it is seen as a loss of self-control. As a result we need to be calm but firm in the presentation of the fact that God will judge all people and His wrath can only be satisfied through the righteousness found in Christ Jesus that we get by tranferring our trust from ourselves to Him as our personal Savior and Lord.
Song: Only trust Him, only trust Him. He will save you. He will save you. He will save you now.
E. Religious positions effect the way some people respond to problems.
1). Legalists tend to insist on close obedience to set of rules & regulations.
2). Humanists are perturbed when human compassion is not put above everything else. \
3). Traditionalists are upset when historical precedents & values are not held in high esteem.
Some people grow annoyed when people are not willing to let the Spirit lead in all things.