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December 9, 2019

 

Angry ?

My Dear Friend,

     Admit it or not, we all get angry from time to time. In seasons of great stress and testing, anger may visit daily, or several times a day, about one thing or another, especially persisting vexations. So what should we do?

     First, remember being capable of anger does not mean you are an inferior breed of Christian or a deplorable human being. Jesus Himself became angry at times: when His disciples refused children ministry (Mark 10:14); when His Father's house was misused (Mark 11:15-17); when, hungry, He encountered a fruitless fig tree (Mark 11:12-14); when Israel's self-righteous religious leaders obstinately resisted His merciful healings on the Sabbath (Mark 2:5). Second, remember on none of these occasions was His angry said to be sinful.

     Since Jesus is the ultimate example of a righteous person, this shows us, yes, there is such a thing as righteous indignation. Let's probe this topic a bit.

     Anger itself is not sinful if the reason we are angry is justified (injustice, cruelty, stubbornness, folly, law-breaking, lying, deceit, slander). But it is imperative that we learn to handle our anger quickly.

     Paul warns holding anger will “give place” to the devil and urgently counsels us to “let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26-27). That is, under no circumstances should we let the sun set while we are still stewing angrily about something. This is simply telling us we must quench anger quickly, "ceasing from anger, and forsaking wrath" without delay, as David instructed us in Psalm 37 (Psalm 37:8; see 37:1-8). Every time you see red, see Paul's warning also. Why is this matter urgent?

     Holding anger - toward any person at any time about any situation or any cause - whether justified or unjustified, will “give place,” or give free access, to Satan in your mind and soul, and this is a very dangerous thing to do! Many a demonic oppression, possession, and derailed destiny began just this way. So we must quench anger quickly, calling a halt to everything until we halt our anger and our spirit is no longer agitated but peaceful. How do we do this?

     In obedience to Paul's Spirit-inspired warning and David's Spirit-inspired instructions, take just a few moments to, with a determined spirit, inwardly reject the anger, regardless of its cause, realizing you can't afford holding anger itself! Anger is spiritually radioactive, toxic, viral, deadly! Hold it tightly in a vise-grip of rejection until it no longer has a hold on you. Ask for the Holy Spirit's supernatural grace and strength, acknowledging you need His help to handle your anger. In a few moments your soul will be at peace again, thanks to the Holy Spirit's power, and ready to continue your walk and work.

     By the way, this time out to thoroughly dispatch anger, however long it takes, is saving, not wasting, time. But if to save time you don't deal with your anger, you will not save but lose time. And perhaps lose a lot more than time! Let me explain.

     If you nurse anger, whatever you decide, say, or do in an agitated mood will be flawed, unworthy, foolish, and self-opposing because your very spirit itself is not right. You'll waste a lot of time and do many things you will have to later undo! It's wiser and more efficient to take a few moments to handle your anger than to waste a half or whole day because you didn't want to bother with biblical anger management.

     Wise Solomon warned, “Anger rests in the bosom of a fool" (Ecclesiastes 7:9). This means anger, if held, will cause us to behave as a fool, who speaks or acts hastily, without considering the adverse consequences of his actions. Don't believe it? Just observe your conversation and actions, or that of others around you, after anger sets in. Three more things need to be understood.

     First, if our anger springs from wrong motives or thoughts (envy, unforgiveness, revenge, imaginations, misjudgments, prejudices, impatience), it is without cause, entirely sinful, and in no way justifiable. Jesus explicitly warned us about being angry with people "without a cause" (Matthew 5:22). We should immediately confess any unjustified anger and its root causes as "sins" to Christ, receive forgiveness, and turn back to righteous thoughts, sentiments, and motives toward all concerned (1 John 1:9).

     Second, we must also learn to have understanding and not react angrily when others get angry with us with cause. That uncomfortable, surprising, embarrassing moment is the time for a “soft,” or gentle, answer that turns away wrath in others: “a gentle answer will calm a person’s anger” (Proverbs 15:1, NCV; see Matthew 5:23-24). We should then remember to forgive the one who has shown unjustified anger toward us.

     Third, we must soberly remember all it takes is one unresolved anger issue to spoil our spirit, stunt our spiritual growth, twist our personality, and ruin our life for Christ. And even worse, if we give Satan "place" in us, he may use us to oppose God's people or work, just as he used King Saul's hidden, envious anger to turn him into David's open, continual enemy (1 Samuel 18:8, 29).

     Let's take these biblical anger management thoughts to heart - and keep our hearts free of anger.

Keeping anger out,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261
1-336-882-1645