Summary: In our Christian walk we have many challenges. I see one of the most difficult tasks is learning how to deal with anger. Anger divides where Christ desires unity. We must daily work on dealing properly with our anger.
Passages from the Bible Gateway NIV Version
The Christian Walk 101 - Anger
Ephesians 4:17-32 - 17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Today we’re going continue looking at this passage in Ephesians chapter 4. As we continue in our series Christianity 101, today we’re going to look at the next aspect in this series as we deal with how we as Christians should walk. As we continue to look at these passages within Ephesians it’s important for us to realize that what we are changing within our lives really boils down to our attitudes. The attitudes of our mind. You see when we look at being truthful as we did last time, we need to realize that if we are going to be truthful, we have to change the attitudes of our minds. If we have the attitude that is okay to lie in this and this type of situation, then we will never overcome lying within our lives because our attitude about lying is that it is okay and we end up with a situational ethics about lying. The situational ethics we encounter is usually it is okay to lie when it is in my best interests!
When we do this we will continue to lie, so we must allow God and his spirit to work within our lives so that we may be made new in the attitude of our minds. In other words, to be transformed more and more into the image of God. So when God says that something is glorious and good we see it as glorious and good and when God sees something that is evil and bad, we see it as evil and bad.
In today’s lesson it is going to be the same thing, we will be looking at changing our attitudes. The next attitude that we need to change within our lives is our attitude towards anger.
Anger can be dealt with in two ways
In Ephesians 4:26-27 it says, “26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.”
The first thing we must realize when we look at anger is that it is not wrong to become angry. Anger is an emotion that was given to us by God and God himself has shown himself to become angry. We see this many places in scripture like in Joshua 7:1, “But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things[a]; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri,[b] the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel.”
Achan broke some very specific instructions that God gave Israel before God delivered Jericho into their hands. God told Israel in Joshua 6:17-19 it reads,” 17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted[a] to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. 18 But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. 19 All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.”