Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Being Angry For Problem Resolution

There have been times my anger was good and properly handled and I used it to God’s glory. But I cannot begin to count how many times in my life I have handled anger sinfully. Each time I had to repent and do the works of repentance and handle it correctly. I spent a lot of time years ago seeking out godly men for biblical discipleship and counsel since I did not understanding anger and how to handle it in a godly and therefore biblical manner. God’s word does give the answer on handling anger in a righteous manner. Here are the biblical principles and directives so that we may learn to handle anger properly to and for the glory of God.

Anger is an emotion given to us by God that produces energy so that we can do that which is needed to carry out whatever needs to be done for God’s glory. Simply stated anger is God given energy to help solve problems biblically. When the energies produced are used within the righteous manner of living, to solve problems biblically, as set within the scripture it is then righteous anger. It is proper and we must at times “be angry and sin not” as the Bible commands us. Biblical examples of men using anger to solve problems biblically are when the Apostle Paul withstood Peter face to face (Gal 2:11) and when Nathan rebuked David (2 Sam. 2:7). We then see God that God demonstrate righteous anger as part of His character (1 Kings 11:9; Ps. 7:11; Mk 3:5). We see the righteous anger of God at work when Christ drove the money changers out of the temple! Here is an example of how I would use anger righteously to solve a problem. If someone hurt one of my kids I would go to the civil magistrates, take out a warrant for the persons arrest and then seek every avenue I could to see that the person be judged to the fullest extent of the law. Notice that we are commanded and called to "be angry, but do not sin". I suggest that at the end of your reading this that you start thinking through some ways that you will use the anger God gives you to take care of problems that may have risen or may rise in your life so that you may glorify Him in the day of trouble. Remember ”Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” (Eph 4:26-27)

The power and energy that anger produces, when used wrongly makes anger sinful. Anger becomes sinful when a person is “mad”. Anger becomes sinful when you become mad. By the way to be mad is the same as one that speaks and acts in such a manner that he or she seems not to be in their right mind (jn 10:20;Acts 12:15; 26:25; 1 Cor 14:23) There is no command to ever be mad in the Bible, but there is the command to speak and act with a sense of purpose being kind and gracious. Anger also becomes sinful when one becomes selfishly motivated. Anger is sinful when one whines and cries wanting their way. These folks may not whine like a baby in the sense of a high pitched frequency but they sure do whine like an adult and typically their cry is a stern “I have the right to __________.” The Bible is clear in this “Whether therefore ye eat. Or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” So when it comes to wanting your own way the idol of the heart that must be destroyed is clearly seen. Thenj you have the folks that do not seek to solve problem in a timely manner. And in many cases they do not want to confront what has made them angry. Some keep lists and one day.a big day will come and the bad Santa’s list of wrongs will be revealed. Oh my, a fifty page list od all you have done to me. This can arrange from “not fixing breakfast on my birthday in 1977” to “ putting a scratch on the car in 1996 in the month of July three days before going on the trip to Dan’s Grit House for lunch.” “ Remember?” When you attack a person in anger instead of problem solving you have not handled anger correctly and sin occurs. Period.

Now the Bible is clear that wise and godly men and women can and do control their anger. (Prov. 19:11; 29:11; Eph 4:26, 27) You don’t need to yell at the wife, smack the kids, kick the chair, beat the ___________ (fill in the blank). Your children are to be nurtured, the wife loved without bitterness toward them, etc. “Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.” And, “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” And as for getting angry at work with your employer and “showing them” by speaking out (yelling) against them or by not working properly I ask that you remember that the Apostle taught us to “obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.” (Col 3:18-22)

I remember one day a lady friend of the family was visiting at our home when she stated to my wife and I that when she was “PMSing” she sure gave her “husband a difficult time”. During this time she felt badly and would fuss and get angry often. She said that he knew to watch out and leave her alone during this time. So I asked, “Do you treat everyone in this same manner as you do your husband during these days.” She said, “No.” I then asked if she treated the person at the check out line at the grocery store in that manner? Again her answer was, “No”. I then shared that her anger and difficulty toward her husband, even while PMSing, was not acceptable before the Lord and shared that the Lord desired her to love her husband and that she was to put off the fussing and anger during these PMS days. It was discussed and recognized that the body did go through changes that caused discomfort during this time however that was no excuse to treat the husband in such a sinful manner. It also was pointed out to her that she clearly showed that she could control any outbursts of anger during this PMS time and that she did so with the people at the store and with other people. Wise men and women therefore “put off” the “old self” and “put on” a renewed mind so as not to “grieve the Holy Spirit of God”, by being kind and tenderhearted. You see “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” (Pro 29:11) and “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” (Pro 19:11)

Anger can be handled in one of three ways: 1) by blowing up; 2) By clamming up; 3) biblically. The first two are sinful ways of handling or reacting to anger. We are directed not to handle anger in that manner. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (Eph 4:31-32)

We will now briefly look at each one of these so that we can learn how to handle anger righteously to the glory of God, for our growth in grace and knowledge, and for our continual growth in progressive sanctification.

Some people handle anger by blowing up. They fail in not controlling the energy which anger produces. Blowing up in anger is the release of the energy God has given to solve a problem toward people and other things instead of releasing it to solve whatever the problem itself is. This person yells, screams, hit, beat and break people and things. It is easy to see that venting anger is sinful and not to be considered as an option for the believer. When anger is handled in this manner people get hurt in several different ways. One way that others get hurt by those handling anger in this sinful manner is in the beatings they and others receive. Another way people get hurt is in the yelling and name calling and sinful communication that goes on by the person that is out of control. It is a shame that this otherwise productive God given energy is used for such evil purposes.

Other people handle anger by clamming up. That is they seethe in whatever is bothering them. These folks become resentful and bitter and live as victims of circumstances. Anger is to be controlled but it is not to be held in and problems go unsolved. The Bible calls God’s people to attention so as to “not let the sun go down on your anger" (Ephesians 4:26).

Clamming up does a lot of damage to the person that is angry. The energy produced by anger has no outlet for the person holds it all in. In clamming up the energies released that should go toward problem solving are released toward you. This is dangerous since clamming up can cause major health issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, high blood pressure, heart attacks, “mental disorders”, and many other things. Not only do you damage to yourselves but, you also hurt others. For example others get hurt not only where the truth is not spoken in love but also in the loss of a loved one that has clammed up and the health problems produced form it causes death.

Other people handle anger in a Biblical manner. You may not have known that the Bible has the answer on how to handle anger, but it does. And people that know this handle anger differently from those that vent and blow up and those that clam up. Joseph is an excellent example of the many principles and steps one must take in handling anger biblically. Notice that he sees God in the trial and in the solution (Rom 8:29,29) As Joseph stated “you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good.” He made room for God’s wrath against evil and he returned good for what was evil. “And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spoke kindly unto them. (Gen 50:19-21; Rom 12:19)

Doesn’t Joseph’s godly example and practice remind you of the directives given to us in Romans chapter 12 which states: “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom 12:17-21)

So let’s now summarize how to handle anger biblically!

1. If you have sinned recognize, admit and confess the sin to God and to the proper people you have sinned against (Prov 28:13) If you struggle with anger get help from your pastor or a spiritual brother or sister to help disciple you and hold you accountable to handle anger biblically.

2. See that God is in the trial. After all He has decreed all things that come to pass and all things come not by chance but by His fatherly hand. (Gen 50:20; Rom. 8:28. 29; James 1:2-4)

3. Make room for God’s wrath. Okay! In other words do not try to be or play God and sin. Remember Joseph and Romans 12:19.

4. Return good for what you think is evil. Overcome evil with good. Do not let evil overtake you. Gen 50:21; Rom 12:21)

5. Communicate to solve the problem. Biblical communication pleasing to God has four rules.

a.) Be Honest - Eph 4:25;

b.) Keep Current - Eph. 4: 26-27 ;

c.) Attack The Problem Not The Person – Eph. 4:29;

d.) Act, Don’t React – Eph 4:31-32

6. Act in such a manner to solve the problem by being God’s kind of person. In other words, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. (Rom 12:18)

In conclusion let me say that if you are a child of God you can change by realizing god’s purpose for anger is to solve problems. It is not to hurt and destroy oneself or others. As a Child of God we have the indwelling Holy Spirit and can be Christ like in our handling of anger. In reading this blog you have no excuse at all now for handling anger sinfully and for not growing in this area of your life. Memorize the steps listed and if you need particular help seek out a godly pastor or elder and get the help needed. You can handle anger biblically. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you apply these directives in your life. Go then and sin no more. Okay!

Perhaps you are not a Christian. If not then the first thing you must do is to take a hard focused look at your life. Is anger a problem, perhaps it is and it will probably be linked with other sins. Recognize that you need delivered from the guilt of the sins which brings the punishment of hell. If you recognize this then let the God of Peace know that you acknowledge your sins ant that you now trust Christ as your deliverer and Savior! Then you need to look for a bible believing Church. I suggest the Presbyterian Church in America. Look in your local phone book for the nearest one to you and contact the pastor and attend there, If ther happens not to be one there and you cannot find a local Baptist bible believing church feel free to contact me giving information where I may contact and assist you.


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