*This five-part series is an overview of The Heart of the Problem book/workbook. If you discover help in these articles, I encourage you to purchase the workbook at www.kerryskinner.com and go deeper in your discovery.
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Anger is One Letter Away from Danger!
Have you ever lost your keys? What was your response? Have you ever been cut off in traffic? What was your response? Is being a little bit angry like being a little bit pregnant?
The one single problem that everyone is plagued with universally is anger. But, if there is one topic in which there is universal disagreement, it would be how to tame anger.
Most Christians believe their anger is always righteous. However, James says the anger of “man” does not produce righteousness. Anger is sin, and that’s good news! Why? Because, there is a divine solution for sin. Dealing with sin is God’s specialty. Many people who know very little about Jesus know that He threw the money changers out of the temple. See: Matthew 21:12-15; Mark 11:15-18; and Luke 19:45-47. Others who know very little about the Bible know another verse:
In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.
Ephesians 4:26, NIV
People use a few verses to justify their anger. I take this verse to mean that if you are aware of being angry you should deal with it quickly. The deadline is sundown.
Anger is a normal response to unrighteousness. Can we conclude then, that our anger is God-given and alerts and energizes us into action to see that wrongs are made right? Or should we conclude that “normal responses” are not necessarily “godly responses.”
As I study the Bible, I do not find that we are instructed to vent our anger against evil causes or toward evil people. Evaluate these verses:
Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…[The Father] makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good.
Husbands love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.
…that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children.
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
Love the brotherhood.
1 Peter 2:17
…abound in love to one another and to all
1 Thessalonians 3:12
If we eliminate all of the above people as objects of our anger, who is left that can be the object of our anger? If you are justified in being angry at injustices in this world, you will be mad the rest of your life!
The Bible does state that anger is a natural expression of our humanness; it is a natural expression of our “old man” and “the old sin nature.” But the Bible says that anger is sin and it is not acceptable.
Look at what the Bible actually says about man’s anger:
The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret–it only causes harm.
Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.
Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul.
A quick-tempered man acts foolishly.
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
Whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
Put off all these: anger, wrath, malice.
If there is righteous indignation, how often do you have it?” Out of the last ten arguments you were involved in, how many times was it righteous? If it is right, why are you worried about it? But, if it is wrong, you had better learn how to deal with it because anger is a major roadblock to personal peace.
Physical Aspects Of Anger Continue reading…