I. Anger is a complicated emotion with a wide range of effects from annoyance to irritation to violent rage.
II.Misconceptions About Anger
- All Anger is bad: Feelings, including anger, are neither right nor wrong, they just are. “Be angry and sin not,” the apostle teaches. There is appropriate anger which Jesus expressed when he cast the money changers out of the temple. He also showed hia anger towards hypocrisy and religious intolerance.
- In fact, anger may be healthy—it can serve as a warning that something is not right and motivate us to speak up and make positive changes.
- Venting or “dumping” anger helps us to “get it out of our system.” Research shows “letting off steam” is the worst strategy for managing anger. It often makes a situation worse, increases conflict and aggression
- Denying or “stuffing” anger makes it go away. Instead it is more likely to cause harm such as: allowing us to ignore situations such as domestic abuse; lead to harmful passive-aggressive behavior; create stresses which cause serious health issues. There is much research to show stuffing anger is a cause of arthritis.
III.Four Ways to Honor God when you are angry
1. Don’t deny your anger but confess it.
- I John 1: 9: If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
- Personal Note; I have found to say the words out loud, “I feel angry,” helps to unmask the feeling and calms me down.
2. Delay your anger but do not prolong it: Let not the sun go down on your anger.
- Proverbs: 15: 18: A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but if you are slow to anger you can keep things under control;
- Proverbs 16: 32: He who controls his temper is better than a mighty warrior,he who rules his spirit better than he who captures a city.
- Eccles 7:9 Be not be hasty in your spirit to get angry,for anger lodges in the heart of fools.
3. Defuse your anger:
- By speaking softly with someone who expresses anger. Proverbs 15: 1 A soft answersoothes angry feelings,but harsh wordsstirs them up.
- By having a burden for reconciliation. Jesus taught that if someone holds resentment towards us, we should not worship, especially refrains from the Lord’s Supper, until we have tried to make it right. Matthew 5: 22-24: But Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember your brother has something against you; Leave your gift at the altar, and go, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer your gift.
- He also expects us to have the same burden if someone has hurt us in some way. Matthew 18:15 “If your brother sins against you go and tell him what he did in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother back again
- Notice two things. The burden to be reconciled with our brother is on us whether we are the injured party or we have done the injury. The other is this process applies to how conflicts are to be handled among Christians in the church. Sadly, believers often ignore Jesus’ wise counsel. Instead they make matters worse by bringing a third party into the problem before going to the offended or offender involved. This dysfunctional behavior is called “triangulating.” It is cowardly and destructive to relationships.
4. Finally, confess your anger to God and ask for His help.