To deal with anger, we need 4 skills:
Definition: we need a clear definition what anger is.
Explanation: anger need to be clearly explained. We need to understand what is anger, what is righteous anger and what is sinful anger
Examination: once we understand the definition and explanation, we need to examine ourselves and search our own hearts. We need the help of the Holy Spirit.
Transformation: we need to change and apply correction to our hearts and areas of anger. This is not overnight. As with many sins, we will discover that we even fall more when we discovered anger and try to correct it. The flesh and satan will tempt us even more. We might fall even more before change will come.
What does God say about anger:
Anger is murder.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. (Matt 5:21-22, ESV)
Anger is selfish.
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? (Jas 4:1-12, ESV)
Anger must be put off.
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. (Ps 37:8, ESV)
Anger is foolish and displease the Lord.
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. (Prov 14:29)
Human anger is not righteousness of God.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (Jas 1:19-20, ESV)
What is the DEFINITION of anger:
There are two kinds mentioned in the Bible: Righteous anger and unrighteous anger.
Is consumed with God’s will, reputation and honor. It is consumed with the desire for righteousness. It is not thinking of himself. Is in complete control.
Question. Do you think righteous anger can include our own family, brothers and sisters? If their lives are threatened? To what extent may we protect the lives of others?
Let us looked at a few examples.
And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” (Mark 11:15-17, ESV)
And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. (Mark 3:5, KJV)
2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. (2Cor 11:2, ESV)
28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. (2Cor 11:28, ESV)
19 And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. (Exod 32:19, ESV)
11 God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. (Ps 7:11, ESV)
This is about the self. Protecting self worth. Defending one’s own honor and name. It is about pride. Unrighteous anger is when a person is thinking of himself.
Two basic forms.
1. Explosive and reactionary anger.
It involves expressing one’s emotions. This kind of anger is easily seen and heard. The Bible call it “wrath”
28 The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. (Prov 15:28, ESV)
31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. (Eph 4:31, ESV)
2. Inward or slow burn.
It is called “anger” in the Bible.
The Free Dictionary defines it as follows: “A gradually increasing sense or show of anger”…”a steadily penetrating show of anger or contempt”
The Urban Dictionary defines it as follows: “Allowing an event or comment to simmer under your skin until you erupt and flip out.”
Here are some of the evidences of these kinds of anger:
Reactionary explosive anger. Slow burn.
Attack verbally Disgusted
Name calling Glaring
Question: How do you express your anger?
Scripture tells us what to do with this behaviour.
8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. (Col 3:8, ESV)
Before we can change, we must understand what is the root of unrighteous anger. It is the fruit of the sinful nature.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal 5:19-21, ESV)
The fruit of the Spirit are directly opposed to anger.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal 5:22-24, ESV)
How do we overcome the sinful nature?
Understand the source.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. (Jas 1:13-14, ESV)
Be led by the Spirit.
We must walk by the Spirit. God has written His law on our hearts by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit live in us. We must follow Him. Jesus said that He will not leave us alone, but will give us the Holy Spirit the help us (John 14:16). We must look at the cross and see what happened their. We must pray from God the manifestation of the cross over specific sins. We must resist the sinful nature. All of this must happen through the power of the Holy Spirit.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (Gal 5:16, ESV)
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (Gal 5:25, ESV)
Some important facts about anger:
1. Anger is natural to our fallen sinful nature.
Before we can be delivered from anger, we must admit it is sin. Anger is in us. The problem is not outside of us.
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Eph 2:3, KJV)
2. Anger involves thoughts and emotions.
Our heart consist of our thoughts and emotions. Anger might happen very quickly due to habits, but thoughts and emotions are always involved. It is a choice.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Prov 4:23, ESV)
3. Anger is caused by selfish goals and desires.
Ask yourself: What is it I am wanting? This will lead you to the bottom of your desire. Sometimes we start of and think our desires is honest. When someone differ or do not react the way we expect them, we get angry. Our desires the become a goal, something we must have. It then reveal our selfish and lustful desires. (James 4:1-3)
4. Anger never accomplish God’s will:
When we are angry, we focus on ourselves and our needs and goals. This can never please God. God is only glorified when we do things because of Him and not ourselves. Jesus showed the perfect example of God’s will when He washed His disciples feet. Jesus turned the whole world around by saying that in God’s kingdom, the last will be first. (James 1:20)
5. Anger points to some area we need to address.
Sometimes we become angry when we need to address a problem and we feel incapable to deal wit it. We can become problem oriented instead of looking to the cross and focus our eyes on Jesus. We must make sure we seek solutions for the right reasons. We must focus on Christ and leave the outcome to Him. (Proverbs 3:5)
6. Anger is expressed in thoughts, attitude, speech and actions.
Angry thoughts is no less sinful than actions. Remember what Jesus said when you think and say angry things? It is murder and punishable with the hell. This draw the line about anger. When we want to deal with anger, we must understand the seriousness about it from this Scripture Jesus taught. Jesus showed it is a matter of what is going on in the mind. You can do nothing, but if you think it, you committed murder.
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. (Matt 5:21-22, KJV)
7. Anger shows a lack of self control.
…in thought and deeds. It may show up in other areas as well like money, time and lust. Not controlling ourselves but following our impulsive lusts and thoughts is how the pagans live and how we use to live.
among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (Eph 2:3, ESV)
to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 4:22-24, ESV)
8. Anger never comes alone and is accompanied with other sin.
Mentioned that in point 7.
9. Anger will progress to something worse.
Like hate, violence, guilt, depressions, separation from God.
Before we can deal with anger, we need the light of the Word and the Holy Spirit on us. We need to pray for the revelation and conviction of sin.
Do not say “I am not angry”. Do not live in denial. Be honest and rather ask the Lord to search. Do not rename anger to soften or talk it away. Like saying it is frustration, stress or tired.
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Ps 139:23-24, ESV)
To help you examine yourself, ask these questions.
1. Is there someone I am angry with?
2. How do I deal with it?
3. What do I do when I am angry?
4. What was the results of my anger?
5. What was my thoughts when I am angry?
6. What provoke me?
Without the work of God, we are helpless. Our dependance must be completely on what God provided in the cross of Christ. No sin is dealt in any other way than salvation. At the cross.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (Jas 1:17-18, ESV)
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
We go to Christ for forgiveness, and then too often look to the law for power to fight our sins. Paul thus rebukes us, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Take your sins to Christ’s cross, for the old man can only be crucified there: we are crucified with him. The only weapon to fight sin with is the spear which pierced the side of Jesus. To give an illustration–you want to overcome an angry temper; how do you go to work? It is very possible you have never tried the right way of going to Jesus with it. How did I get salvation? I came to Jesus just as I was, and I trusted him to save me. I must kill my angry temper in the same way. It is the only way in which I can ever kill it. I must go to the cross with it, and say to Jesus, “Lord, I trust thee to deliver me from it.” This is the only way to give it a death-blow. Are you covetous? Do you feel the world entangle you? You may struggle against this evil so long as you please, but if it be your besetting sin, you will never be delivered from it in any way but by the blood of Jesus. Take it to Christ. Tell him, “Lord, I have trusted thee, and thy name is Jesus, for thou dost save thy people from their sins: Lord, this is one of my sins; save me from it!” Ordinances are nothing without Christ as a means of mortification. Your prayers, and your repentances, and your tears–the whole of them put together–are worth nothing apart from him. “None but Jesus can do helpless sinners good;” or helpless saints either. You must be conquerors through him who hath loved you, if conquerors at all. Our laurels must grow among his olives in Gethsemane.
“I will send you another teacher.” Jesus Christ had been the official teacher of his saints whilst on earth. They called no man Rabbi except Christ. They sat at no men’s feet to learn their doctrines; but they had them direct from the lips of him who “spake as never man spake.” “And now,” says he, “when I am gone, where shall you find the great infallible teacher? Shall I set you up a pope at Rome, to whom you shall go, and who shall be your infallible oracle? Shall I give you the councils of the church to be held to decide all knotty points?” Christ said no such thing. “I am the infallible paraclete, or teacher, and when I am gone, I will send you another teacher, and he shall be the person who is to explain Scripture; he shall be the authoritative oracle of God, who shall make all dark things light, who shall unravel mysteries, who shall untwist all knots of revelation, and shall make you understand what you could not discover, had it not been for his influence.” And, beloved, no man ever learns anything aright, unless he is taught of the Spirit. You may learn election, and you may know it so that you shall be damned by it, if you are not taught of the Holy Ghost; for I have known some who have learned election to their soul’s destruction; they have learned it so that they said they were of the elect, whereas, they had no marks, no evidences, and no works of the Holy Ghost in their souls. There is a way of learning truth in Satan’s college, and holding it in licentiousness; but if so, it shall be to your souls as poison to your veins and prove your everlasting ruin. No man can know Jesus Christ unless he is taught of God. There is no doctrine of the Bible which can be safely, thoroughly, and truly learned, except by the agency of the one authoritative teacher.
Before we get angry.
1. Confess past sins
2. Ask our Heavenly Father to work in that area of your life.
3. Renew your thoughts by the Word and prayer.
4. Memorize some verses about anger and what we have in Christ (power of sin destroyed).
5. Since anger is about pride, humble yourself before God and commit to a lifestyle of humbleness.
6. Practise godly desires.
7. Do a study from the Word on anger, patience, love, humbleness and the cross.
8. Be alert your enemy is looking whom to devour. (self first then satan).
9. Be accountable to someone.
10. Avoid angry people and situations.
At the time of anger.
1. Pray for help.
2. Put of anger. Resist it. Remember, resist the devil and he will flee from you.
3. Put on, gentleness, patience and humulity.
When you fail.
1. Examine what happened by asking How did I sin.
2. Think what you should do differently.
3. Deal with your sin asap.
4. Confess and ask forgiveness first and foremost from our heavenly Father.
5. Commit to God and others what you will do to combat anger.
6. Stay alert and ask for the Holy Spirit to alert you. Listen to His voice.
Remember God’s grace.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Ps 103:8, ESV)