While it may take different forms, most of us have struggled with anger. Some of us turn our anger inward by clamming up or engaging in self-destructive behaviors. Some of us explode at the least provocation. Anger can be extremely destructive. It can cost us our jobs, our marriages, our families, our testimonies, even our health.
Much has been written about anger and how to control it, but the Bible doesn’t call us to control sinful anger. It calls us to something much deeper.
Welcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival.
Handling Anger Biblically
We have just wrapped up a series on God’s design for marriage. If you missed it, you can access the lessons here. Now we’re in a series on “Handling Emotions Biblically.” Doing so helps bring peace and stability into our lives. Today and for the next two weeks we’ll be talking about “Handling Anger Biblically.”
Then over the following weeks, we’ll be discussing:
Fear & Worry
Trials & Suffering
I hope you’ll be here each week (post goes live at 5 PM MST on Sundays).
While it may take different forms, most of us have struggled with anger at one time or another.
We may simply stuff our feelings into an invisible gunny sack and refuse to deal with them. Until, one day the sack is bursting and it explodes on everyone around us.
Worse, we may be agitated, even boiling within, just waiting to explode.
Some of us react by exploding instantly for the least provocation. This kind of anger can be cruel, sarcastic, violent and vengeful.
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 (Prov. 22.24-25).
An angry man stirs up strife,
And a furious man abounds in transgression (Prov. 29.22).
To fully understand anger we need to start at the beginning. Genesis 1:1 says that God created the heavens and the earth. In verse 26 He said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness …”
And in verse 31, “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.”
It sounds elementary, but God is the One who created us and everything else.
Sinful anger flows out of our unwillingness to accept the fact that He is the Creator, that He gets to make the rules, and that He is the Sovereign God of the Universe.
What we’re really saying is, “I don’t like the way You are letting things work out in my life!”
“Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker—an earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?” (Is. 45:9).
When we get angry, it’s because we want to decide what’s right and what’s wrong for us (Gen. 3.5).
Instead of seeking to understand how God wants to use the circumstances to conform us to His image, we allow the “feelings” to take over.
Not Always Sinful
Not all anger is sinful, at least not in its early stages. But if not dealt with biblically it can quickly escalate into sinful thoughts, words, and actions. Continue reading