|Posted on November 18, 2012 at 7:55 AM||comments (15)|
Do You See Yourself As An Angry Person?
As with many other sins, the angry person is often the last person to admit it. Have others tried to tell you that your anger hurts them? Do you justify the times you raise your voice or say harsh things to others? Often the only place an angry persons shows their anger is toward their family. Then they use it as a way of blame shifting their anger, blaming their family for the way they choose to behave. Is God using this to open your eyes to a problem He wants you to address? Ask your spouse or your parents if you have a problem with anger.
The first step to learning to control your anger is to take responsibility for it. Yes, others do things that they should not. So have you. Christ has treated you with compassion, patience and love, even though you were (are) wrong. He asks us to do the same.
Pray and ask God to give you a humble spirit, to convict your heart about this sin. Seek accountability from someone outside your family. Study the Bible on this issue. God gives us great practical wisdom. You can have victory over this sin.
James offers some sage advice that, unfortunately, all too few Christians seem to heed: “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).
The Bible does not view the emotion of anger, in and of itself, as a sin. There are over 250 references to anger in the Scriptures. Most refer to God, Himself, being angry against sin. Anger may be Biblically defined as a God given emotion which creates a burst of physical energy that is to be channeled toward solving the problem at hand. The problem is not anger itself, it is man’s sinful use of anger.
Most people use anger sinfully when they attack others. In this case, anger may be described as excessive emotion aroused by a sense of injury or wrong. It is not directed toward solving a problem, rather it is selfishly motivated. It is an emotional retaliation against someone who has upset us. It is “returning evil for evil.” (Rom. 12:17).
Anger can be external, when we blowup at someone or ventilate. Anger can be internal, when we clam-up, refuse to talk, give someone “the silent treatment.”
Bitterness takes anger to the next sinful level. It is holding on to our anger, the refusal to stop being angry. The Apostle Paul warns believers to not “let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” (Eph. 4:26-27). When problems are not biblically addressed and solved, people remain angry and bitterness sets in. The New Testament warns “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;” (Heb. 12:15). There is surely nothing that saps the strength of the church and the home more than unreconciled relationships due to people who refuse to stop being angry.
Contrast anger and bitterness with the fruit that the Spirit desires to be present in believers: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;… (Gal. 5:22-23). We are further told “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Eph. 4:30-32).
The angry/bitter person can change. First, you must be willing to humble yourself and confess your anger/bitterness to God as sin. Second, you must confess your sin to those you have lashed out at or been bitter against. Do not tie your confession of sin to the response of others. They may throw it back in your face. But you can find joy in thinking and acting Biblically even when others refuse to do so. Third, you must prayerfully identify the “hot buttons” to which you have habituated yourself to react in anger. Ask God to keep you on your guard to not react in anger when someone pushes those buttons. Fourth, ask God to help you replace anger with a gentle spirit. Learn to respond to difficult things with the “soft answer” that turns away anger (Prov. 15:1). Learn to discuss rather than debate. Learn to ask penetrating questions rather than make accusations. Learn to be a peacemaker rather than argue (Rom. 12:18). Learn to return good for evil done against you (Rom. 12:17-21).
Everyone can control their emotions if they choose to do so. How often have two people been in the midst of a shouting match when the phone rings. In a brief instant one shifts from the shouting mode to answering the phone with a calm, “Hello.” You CAN control your temper. Resolve to seek the power of God through prayer and His Word to begin to change.
When people are ready to address the problems they have with anger very quick progress can be made. You would be amazed how much can be accomplished in just a few counseling sessions. For further help with anger please contact us.
If you want to think further about what the Bible has to say about anger consider the Proberbs below....
PROVERBS AND ANGER
Proverbs 12:16 A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covers shame.
Proverbs 14:17 A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of evil devices is hated.
Proverbs 14:29 He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger pacifies conten- tion.
Proverbs 16:32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.
Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water, So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out.
Proverbs 19:11 A man's discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to over look a transgression.
Proverbs 19:19 A man of great anger shall bear the penalty, For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.
Proverbs 22:24-25 Do not associate with a man given to anger; Or go with a hot-tempered man, Lest you learn his ways, And find a snare for yourself.
Proverbs 29:9 When a wise man has a con- troversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.