Saturday, May 16, 2009

ANGER IN Christians

Ephesians 4:29-32
29 Let no wholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Anger itself is not sinful. The Lord Jesus, became upset, so we know it’s not always wrong. Our reaction, however, can be sinful. When we respond to anger in the wrong way, we can bring emotional, physical, and spiritual devastation on ourselves and others. How should we handle this powerful emotion in a way that will please the Lord?

People handle anger by repression or just deny it exists. Sometime we suppress anger and refuse to deal with it. There can be harsh outbursts where we my try to make excuses for ourselves because "this in how God made me." The correct response to anger is self-control through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We must confess our anger and not deny our feelings because it may make us to stay angry longer. If we harbor anger against our brother, we can never know the fullness of peace that a relationhip with Jesus Christ can bring

We have to identify the source and identify the root of the anger, otherewise you could lash out at someone who did nothing wrong. Deal with anger quickly. Satan wants you to dwell on negative feelings so they will become stronger. Scripture says to deal with your anger (Eph. 4:26-27). If at all possible, deal with your anger before the sun sets. but in some instances of extreme pain and suffering, you won’t be able to get rid of hostility before the sun sets. But you should acknowledge your feelings and decide to deal with them. You shouldn’t just accept rage as a natural response and allow it to become part of your life.

Do not sin. It is possible to get angry without sinning (Eph. 4:26). In fact, anger can motivate us to take necessary action or right a wrong. Consider the example Christ set for us (Matt. 21:13-14; 23:13-33; Mark 3:2-5). Take a time out. Make a purposeful decision not to react quickly, because your first impulse will likely be an unwise one. Give the other person time to talk. Then you will be able to respond in a godly manner. You and I should strive to be “quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” (James 1:19; see also Ps. 103:8)

Analyze the situation. Has somebody hurt those who are mad at you? Are they frustrated, insecure, jealous, or fatigued? You can use similar questions to analyze your own feelings as well. Getting to the root of the conflict will help you know how to address it.

Don't let you anger take hold of you. Don't ventilate and hurt others. As believers, we must carefully consider how our words affect others. So if venting is needed, tell it to the Lord. Get on your knees in a private place and tell God exactly how you feel. He will begin to work in your heart and draw you toward forgiveness.

Put it away. Ephesians 4:31 says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” We should “put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col. 3:12). Both of these actions are possible only through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Replace it. Harness the energy that anger gives you. Use it to wax your car, hit golf balls at the driving range, or clean out a closet. Determine the benefits. The positive side of anger is that it can motivate us to take constructive action, such as fixing problems.

Prevent a wrong response from recurring. We can’t always avoid antagonistic feelings, but we can control how we react to them. Decide ahead of time how you will act in challenging situations. Determine to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become upset.

Stay away from hostile people. Proverbs 22:24-25 says, “Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, or you will learn his ways and find a snare for yourself.” Refrain from starting relationships with those who are constantly irritated.

Conclusion: Our world is full of injustice, hurt, and rejection. People cut us off on the highway, betray our confidence, and harm those we love. It’s impossible for us to avoid all the causes of anger. However, you and I can choose to respond to this powerful emotion in a way that will honor the Lord. When the Holy Spirit enables you to extend forgiveness to others, you will enjoy the supernatural peace and joy God desires for all His children.

This was paraphrased from a sermon by Dr. Charles Stanley. First Baptist Church of Atlanta. and In Touch Ministries.

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