I enjoy looking at the polls on the Focus on the Family website.  I was intrigued one night to see that they were asking how many people struggle with anger.  Out of over 12,000 who voted on the poll, 90% said that they do struggle in this area.  It is hard for people to admit that they struggle with outbursts of temper or fits of rage.  This just isn’t something that we want to admit about ourselves.  I think that many of us struggle silently in this area, and that we often feel like we are the only one who ever struggles with anger.  Now, I know that the Bible tells us not to sin in our anger.  For those of you who struggle with anger, you know as well as I do that it’s much easier said than done.  That is why I wanted to do a message on anger.

What anger does, if not restrained:

Prov. 29:22 An angry man stirs up dissension. – This dissension can be in the workplace, with our friends, or even in our homes.

Prov. 15:1 Harsh words stir up anger. – I was reading this verse when Rachel was a toddler, and the Lord spoke something to me that I will never forget.  He told me that when we are harsh with our children, it can stir up an angry heart in them.  Because we are bigger and stronger than they are, they will do what we want.  They appear to be obeying us and making us happy, but underneath, they may only be giving the outer expression of obedience, but inwardly, they are just waiting for the time where they can get away from us, away from our angry words, away from our influence.

Prov. 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword. – On the times where I have been careless with my words, I have seen the hurt in Rachel’s eyes.  If you are careless with your words, take the time to look into your child’s eyes.  It could be quite revealing to you.

Prov. 12:13 tells us that an evil man is trapped by his sinful talk.  I think we could include an angry man in this verse.  How many traps do we fall into when we unleash our anger?  It definitely gives Satan a foothold in our lives.

Prov. 18:21 tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue.  Through nasty words, spoken in anger, our words can actually kill.  What kind of “murder” do we commit?  A friendship, a reputation, a trust, a marriage, a relationship with our children…..

What unrestrained anger shows:

Prov. 29:11 A fool gives full vent to his anger. – I always hated the term “fool.”  Thinking of it terms of MY being the FOOL because of MY ANGER puts a new perspective on it – one which I DON’T like!

Prov. 12:16 A fool shows his annoyance at once.  – How many times do we walk into a room, observe the scene, and vent our anger, without waiting to hear what really happened?

Jas. 1:19-20 If we are showing unrestrained anger, we are showing that we aren’t walking in the righteous life that our God desires of us.

Prov. 14:29 tells us that a quick tempered man shows his folly (foolishness).  Oops, there is that word “fool” again.

Gal. 5:20 mentions fits of rage as one of the works of the flesh.  Verse 21 goes on to say that those who live like that will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Then when you look at Prov. 16:32 and read that one who controls his temper is better than one who takes a city, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, like you will never be able to master that awful temper.  I have good news though!  I found a very practical list of things to do, which will not only help us with angry tempers, but if we apply it, it will help us to master other areas of our lives!

Plan of action:  Ephesians 5:15-6:18

1.  Be careful how you live.

2.  Make the most of every opportunity.

3.  Understand God’s will.

4.  Be filled with the Spirit.

5.  Speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.

6.  Be thankful.

7.  Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

8.  Wives, submit to your husbands.

9.  Husbands, love your wives.

10. Children, obey your parents.

11. Fathers, bring your children up in the instruction of the Lord, rather than exasperating them.

12. Serve your bosses wholeheartedly, as serving the Lord. – When I worked for a phone company, I got to the place where I would daily ask the Lord to help me to remember that I was doing that job as His servant, and not their slave.  It made a HUGE difference in my attitude and job performance.

13. Treat those under you with respect. (employees, children)

14. Be strong in the Lord.

15. Put on the armor of God.

a. Belt of truth – knowing the truth of the Word.

b. Breastplate of righteousness – protection from acting by your emotions.

c. Feet fitted with the gospel of peace – walking as a peacemaker.

d. Shield of faith – to extinguish Satan’s arrows.

e. Helmet of salvation – protects your thinking.

f. Sword of the Spirit – the Word – this is an offensive weapon, to be used against our enemy.  – Think of how Jesus used the Word of God when He was in the wilderness.  He used it consistently, and the devil finally left when he saw that Jesus wasn’t going to bow to His flesh.

16. Pray in the Spirit on ALL occasions with ALL kinds of prayers and requests. – When you feel your flesh wanting to fall into the trap of a temper tantrum, ask God to help you say NO to your flesh.

17. Be alert.  Be aware of what sets you off, and be on guard for it.  PLAN to take control of your flesh (with God’s help).  Do not LET sin reign in your mortal body. (Rom. 6:12)

God of all power and grace, I ask you to help me CHOOSE to walk in goodness, patience, and peace this day, in spite of how I may feel physically or emotionally, in spite of how tired or irritated I may be, in spite of how overwhelmed I may be.  Help me to crucify my flesh in this area so that I may decrease, and that YOU may increase.  In the Name of Jesus, I ask these things.  Amen.

© 2003, Stacy R Miller


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Art of Provocation or Pushing Others to Sin While We Claim Sainthood | Take What You Need, Leave the Rest

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