An incredible thing happened when I first met the men and women who head the ministries which are now the Ministry Partners of Living Sacrifice Ministries. Although they are located in some of the most impoverished countries in the world, faced with famine, draught, flood, war, disease, and political uncertainty, when I asked these saints of God what could be done for them, what they needed most, the humble people who meet for worship in
Finding Biblical Solutions in a Confusing World
Most people handle anger one of two ways:
Niether of these approaches is healthy, but both of them are the ones most commonly used, and even taught by parents and society for the control of anger.
Consider a teapot for a moment.
When the water in the teapot gets hot, it lets out steam, and begins to whistle. If you so chose, you could simply lift the pot off of the heat for a moment, let it cool down and the whistling would stop. BUT…and here is the problem, once you put it back, it would start whistling again. The reason is quite simple. The heat source is still there.
Of course, you could put the teapot somewhere else, but the flame is still on, causing heat. The point is, if the source of heat is not eliminated, the cycle will never end.
This is the problem with so many people and their anger. They remove themselves from the anger for a time, go away, cool off, or ignore it, but must return to the source eventually, only to let the “steam” build back up again.
One mistake a lot of Christians make is to think that all anger is sin. However, God Himself displays anger many times in the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments. The issue is not one of whether or not anger is a sin, but the nature of our anger, and how we choose to deal with it. The word “anger” is used in the Bible 228 times, and the word “wrath”, (another word with essentially the same meaning) another 194 times. So what is the difference you ask?
“Sinful anger is self-centered-we are defending ourselves by attacking others”.-Dr. David Jeremiah
“Anger should not be destroyed but sanctified”. William Jenkyn
Let’s see what the Bible has to say about this all important issue of Anger.
Ephesians 4:26-27 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.
(Notice that the instruction is not one against anger, but against sin. Also, the devil uses anger as an avenue to tempt us to sin).
Example: Genesis 4- Cain was angered when God found favor with Abel’s sacrifice, and was tempted by Satan into sinning, committing the first act of jealousy and the first murder.
John 2:13-16 Jesus cleanses the temple. Notice that Jesus was angry, but was not angry at anything done to or said about Him. He was angry about the temple, His Father’s house, being defiled.
List some of the times Jesus could have gotten angry at things that were done to Him.
What are some of the things that were done to Jesus that would have made you angry? Why? What would you have done? Why didn’t Jesus? What can we take away from this?
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.
Jesus was tempted in ways that would make Him angry, just as you and I are, but unlike you and me, He never sinned.
What are some of the things that were done or said to Jesus that are similar to things that you have had happen?
How did He handle them?
How did you?
For Next Week
God is slow to anger, and expects us to be as well
Proverbs 15:1A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Psalms 145:8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
Proverbs 14:29 A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.
James 1:19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
We will begin looking at some areas in our lives where we deal directly with anger. Ask yourself honestly about the following:
Keep in mind, we all get angry some times. Do not be too hard on yourself or others when answering these questions. What we are looking for here is a pattern of continued or repeated anger.