Summary: Second in a four part series on managing anger.
“Managing Anger God’s Way” Pt 2
Ephesians 4 tells us to be angry and let anger be put away from us.
BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil a place. Ephesians 4:26-27
Which is it? We learned last week that the state of our heart determines the character of our anger. There is Spirit generated anger and flesh generated anger. There is the anger of man I will refer to as fleshly anger which does not achieve God’s purposes and the anger of God which I will refer to as godly anger which is intended to promote God’s purposes in God’s way.
I. ANALYZE ANGER
A. Understand the character of anger
Anger basically is an inner power surge that puts us in a state of readiness to act.
It is morally neutral at its core. We need to learn to effectively employ it for God’s purposes.
B. Pinpoint the purpose of anger
Anger is a powerful heightened state of being that readies us to address evil in our world. Anger is like a red light on the dashboard of life indicating an urgent need for action. It equips us to act decisively against evil. It alerts us and empowers us to address evil in our life or the world around us. It is never intended to exact vengeance, manipulate people, vent, control others, revile, return evil for evil. Anger can be a significant ally or a deadly adversary in accomplishing our mission here on this earth as ambassadors of righteousness to a twisted, fallen world. We must purpose to allow our anger to spur us to godly action. Anger can encourage us to explore pockets of sin and selfishness in our life. Anger can encourage us to address unrighteousness in our world.
Anger is an automatic inner stirring in response
to perceived or actual events, people or circumstances
perceived as wrong, evil or threatening to my well being
that empowers me to act.
C. Discover the cause of anger
Anger arises out of my personal beliefs and expectations and perceptions. Anger is aroused whenever I perceive a violation of my beliefs, core values or expectations. The reason some respond to certain things with anger and other do not depends on one’s belief system. I will feel angry any time someone acts against what I believe to be good and right. Anger is intricately connected to our thought process. The key to managing anger centers in our thinking.
Anger that arises as a spirit-generated response to a legitimate evil needs to be Spirit-directed.
Anger that arises as a flesh-generated response to a perceived evil needs to be Spirit-defused.
1. Beliefs and values
The degree of passion with which you embrace your convictions determines the intensity of your anger when those convictions or beliefs are threatened.
Beliefs and convictions are the way we think things should be.
Fleshly anger arises out of faulty beliefs and convictions.
Godly anger arises out of sound beliefs and convictions.
God designed anger to motivate us to address evil though the Spirit’s direction. What action we take must also be carefully directed by God’s truth. When anger stems from a faulty belief system, we need to adjust that belief system. Anger gets defused whenever I properly adjust my belief system.
ILLUS: I believe that cars should never breakdown and last forever. Therefore when the car breaks down (as all cars do) I become frustrated or angry. The reality is -- EVERTHING breaks down! When I understand that fact, I plan accordingly and anger is defused.
It is absolutely vital that we embrace God’s truth and continually adjust our beliefs to conform to God’s standard communicated in the Bible. When we view life as God does, there is less cause for anger.
Much of the source of self anger boils down to some faulty belief I have. I have to be perfect.
I am no good or useless. My worthy is tied to my performance. I must earn God’s acceptance just like I have to earn everyone else’s acceptance.
2. Personal expectations / goals
We also adopt certain expectations according to our personal beliefs and convictions
This is the way we want things to be.
We impose expectations on people all the time. “Everyone should hold the same values as I do.” “I expect that people should be perfect.” Anger automatically arises when people don’t perform according to our particular expectation. I ask someone to do a job. I expect them to do the job as I would do the job. We must address the personal expectation or the person who did not meet our expectation. It is important to continually evaluate our expectations. Are they Biblical? Are they realistic? Are they God-centered or self-centered? We need to adjust expectations frequently. Ultimately, God is the only reliable person and He doesn’t play by our rules.