Summary: 32nd message in a series on Ephesians continuing exploration of dealing with handling anger God's way.
“Managing Anger God’s Way”
I. ANALYZE ANGER
A. Understand the character of anger
B. Consider the purpose of anger
Anger 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. Spirit generated anger needs to be purposefully directed. Flesh generated anger needs to be persistently defused.
C. Discover the cause of anger
Anger is the emotion that rises or bolts to the surface when some event intersects with our…
D. Follow the course of anger (circle of emotion)
E. Address the soul issues that intensify anger
1. Unaddressed Sin -- Guilt
2. Doubt / Fear / Independence
3. Self-centered focus / pride
4. Bitterness / Unforgiveness
5. Old wounds
6. Demonic Strongholds
7. Old Ruts or Patterns of response
F. Consider the conduct (expression) of anger
The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. Prov 15:28
What do we do with our angry thoughts and emotions?
We must do something about the emotional red light.
Never healthy to deny them. “I’m not angry!”
Never healthy to bury them or internalize them. “I shouldn’t be angry!”
Never healthy to express them without a godly purpose.
Spirit-motivated anger seeks to encourage, glorify God, and accomplish kingdom purposes.
Expressions of anger are generally active aggressive or passive aggressive. The other is not so obvious and covert. Flesh-generated angers seek to punish, control or avoid the “evil doer” in some way. Self-centered anger manifests in a variety of ways.
Biting tone or edge
Physical or emotional withdrawal
As you can see, anger is not always expressed by an overt outburst. We will explore a number of expressions of anger as we reflect on proper response to anger.
II. Control anger
The key to anger control is taking time for honest reflection. Only respond AFTER prayerful and honest reflection. Our goal must be to direct godly anger to address the evil that triggered the anger. Our goal must be to defuse sinful anger triggered by the flesh.
A. Reflect on beliefs, expectations and perceptions – affirm or adjust
Since anger stems from our beliefs, expectations and perceptions, the primary control point will be to continually evaluate and adjust or affirm those beliefs, expectations and perceptions. I need to continually evaluate whether my convictions and beliefs line up with Scripture. When they do, I affirm my beliefs. When they don’t, I must continually adjust my beliefs so that they do. What is God’s standard? What does the Bible say about it? What is the Biblical response? How did Jesus respond?
? Do I embrace some basic life beliefs?
1. My longing for love and acceptance is and can only be realized through vital relationship with God.
People cannot fully satisfy my deepest longing for acceptance
2. My longing for significance is and can only be realized through my identification with Christ.
Power and prestige cannot fully satisfy my deepest longing for significance.
3. My longing for holiness will only be realized through relationship with Jesus Christ.
Performance through the flesh cannot fully satisfy my longing to be righteous
4. I have been uniquely called to minister to the needs of others by proclaiming God’s truth and expressing God’s love.
We are called to minister to the needs of others not manipulate others to meet my needs.
5. We live in a fallen world where all systems are subject to the law of deterioration.
Things will always break down and people will always fail sooner or later.
6. Struggle or tribulation in our life leads to spiritual maturity.
Internal and external encounters with evil are a fact of life and are intended to bring me into deeper trust and more intimate connection with God.
7. God is the ultimate controller of all things who will eventually bring everything into conformity with His perfect will.
We cannot control people’s heart or actions or the circumstances of life. He will work all things together for good in His way and time. We entrust our lives to Him and pray.
? Are my expectations reasonable and Biblical?
? Do I have an accurate perception?
We must be careful to get facts and ask questions if necessary before we respond to perceived evil. Since a person’s real motive is always difficult to know for sure, it is best to err on the positive side of the question than the negative.
Prov 18:13 "He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him."