Today’s topic: anger. We all know someone who’s struggled with it, right? But don’t worry, this discussion might just be for you too.
Picture anger as pulling the pin of a grenade. It can explode if we don’t handle it right. Our mission today? Put that pin back in, with the help of God’s word and the Holy Spirit.
Anger Matters: The Bible mentions anger over 200 times. It’s not a minor issue. Extended periods of anger can seriously affect our health, raising heart rates, blood pressure, and even increasing the risk of stroke.
The Global Anger Epidemic: According to a Gallup poll, the world is currently experiencing higher levels of sadness, anger, worry, and stress than ever before. It’s affecting us all.
Anger vs. Frustration: As Christians, we often say we’re frustrated, not angry. But let’s be honest, there’s a fine line. Here are some tests:
- Do your kids flinch when you call them names?
- Do you constantly wonder how others can be so dumb?
- Does your exhale sound like a city bus releasing air?
- Are you undefeated in imaginary arguments?
- Is “it’s just my face” your response to “What’s wrong?”
- Does Home Depot know you by name due to frequent drywall and spackle purchases?
- Do Little League umpires dread your arrival?
It’s Me, Too: Trust me, I’ve been there. Just last week, I let something small escalate, and I found myself regretting it. My anger stole my joy and I ended up with a broken iphone. Don’t judge me too harshly.
The Blueprint for Dealing with Anger: James, the brother of Jesus, guides us in dealing with anger in James 1:19-21:
‘ Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; ‘
- Identity First: Understand who you are in Christ. You’re beloved, just as God called Jesus His beloved. Start with your identity.
- Be Quick to Listen: God listens to us, so we should listen to others. It’s the first step in handling anger.
- Slow to Speak: Think before you speak. Words can fuel anger or defuse it.
- Slow to Anger: Be patient, don’t let anger escalate. Anger doesn’t produce God’s righteousness.
‘Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. ‘
Meekness is Not Weakness: Meekness means surrendering control over your anger, like handing the reins of a wild horse to a skilled rider. It’s not weakness; it’s recognizing you need God’s help.
The Implanted Word: Let God’s Word guide your actions. Your words and actions should align with His truth, not your emotions.
Over 200 Bible References: The Bible has a lot to say about anger, from Proverbs to Ephesians to Colossians. Here are a few highlights:
- A quick temper is foolishness.
- A soft answer defuses wrath.
- Slowness to anger is a sign of great understanding.
- Bitterness and anger can’t coexist.
The Gospel Solution: Unrighteous anger finds its solution in the Gospel. Jesus, who had every right to be angry, showed us love instead. He forgave us, even when we didn’t deserve it.
Conclusion: Whether you need to mend relationships, control your tongue, or accept Jesus into your life, remember that God’s love and grace can help you overcome anger. Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, just as God has been with us.
– Pastor Joe