Problems of the Heart #6
THE PROBLEM OF ANGER
1. Anger is of great benefit.
2. But “anger” is only one letter short of “danger.”
3. One constant throughout the Bible is the necessity of handling anger in a healthy and godly manner.
1. Anger is meant to be an emotion, not an identity or a state of being.
a. Anger may come about for three basic reasons.
b. Anger is not right or wrong, but what is done with it may be.
c. Anger should come slowly and leave quickly.
i. Prov. 14:29 – “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,
but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.”
ii. Prov. 16:32 – “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”
iii. Prov. 29:11 – “Good sense makes one slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”
2. Anger is not what it was meant to be, and the Lord is working to put it back in its place.
a. The gospel confronts a world where anger is a problem.
i. “Anger” – originally any natural impulse, or desire, or disposition, came to signify anger as the strongest of all passions...the more active emotion...less sudden.
ii. “Wrath” – indicates a more agitated condition of the feelings, an outburst of wrath from inward indignation...more the inward feeling...more sudden.
iii. “Provoke” – the verb form of the first term...to arouse to anger.
b. A Christian becomes a person with a new life that does not include sinful anger.
i. Eph. 4:26, 27 – “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”
ii. Eph. 4:29 – “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
iii. Eph. 4:31, 32 – “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
3. Transformation takes place gradually, so Wisdom offers strategies for handling anger while the new man takes over.
a. The drop it method: “The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out” (Prov. 17:14).
b. The hold it method: “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back” (Prov. 29:11).
c. The listen first method: “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).
d. The close your mouth and think method: “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things” (Prov. 15:28).
e. The run away method: “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it” (Prov. 22:3).
f. The cool it method: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov. 15:1).
g. The grow up method: “A man of quick temper acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated” (Prov. 14:17).
1. Ecclesiastes 7:9 – “Be not quick in your spirit to become angry,
for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.
2. Galatians 5:24 – “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
3. Psalm 37:9 – “...those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.”