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March 11 – How to Be Angry

March 11, 2012

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” – Jas 1:19 

I’m not sure I’m the best one to talk about how to be angry.  I may be much better at talking about how not to be angry!  So I bring to you my qualifications on this topic:

Once, in our early marriage, maybe 25 years ago or so, Kathie and I got into an argument (I don’t know how much this affects our behavior- but we are both first-born and a little hard-headed).  I don’t remember what the argument was about, but it was most likely a small thing… as they usually are.  But what happened next, I say to my shame, is less than impressive; she said something, that to me was “the straw that broke the camel’s back” and I stormed out of the room.  I was so angry in that moment, that on my way out of the room, I walked by an end table and grabbed a perfume bottle which was sitting there.  I immediately threw the perfume bottle (not at her, not at anything, but I just wanted to throw something) across the living room, through the living room window, breaking the glass, and landing out in the yard about 20 feet from the house.  I was stunned, as was Kathie. I looked at her, and as we made eye contact, we both began to laugh at how rediculous the situation had become.  I was embarrassed.  I cautiously walked over to the window to look at the damage and at where the bottle had landed.  As I looked out the window, I realized that our neighbor was out mowing his lawn, but had stopped and was looking toward our house and probably at me in the window.  He had obviously seen the bottle flying out the window.  I quickly withdrew from the window hoping he had not seen me.  I didn’t go get that bottle until a couple of hours later, when he was not out there.  I was embarrassed, of course.  Kathie and I both laughed about it and have a few times over the years; but it was not one of my brighter moments in shining the light of the Lord.

Anger and loss of temper are problems that most, if not all, people face from time to time.  Some people seem to have made a habit of it and know no other way to live.

What does the Bible say about anger?  Is it always sinful to be angry?  Can we control our tempers?

The purpose of this presentation is to examine how to be angry.  I want answers.

I want to address this subject head-on and deal with it in relation to my walk with the Lord as a Christian.  What I mean is this:  when I am dealing with anger issues, it is imperative that I look to my primary example and remind myself who Jesus is, and who I am.

Anger is a natural (God-given) emotion of mankind much life love, happiness, joy, fear and sadness (among others).  It is amoral, and not necessarily a sin (in and of itself).  If anger itself is not (or not always) a sin, then I need to understand how to appropriately respond to it.  This is nothing new.  My emotions oftentimes must be controlled.  For example, sadness must be controlled properly.  If it is not, it could lead to a destructive reaction like depression, and even suicide.  Emotions are things that I must deal with and control.  And with anger, it is especially true.

Anger is most often regarded as negative for obvious reasons.  Where we most often see anger exhibited is by reactionary measures to offensive actions toward someone or something.  People lash out seemingly uncontrollable most of time.  I know, as a Christian, I am called to a higher standard of living.  I should not respond in a sinful, but a righteous manner.

Beginning tomorrow, Lord willing, I will begin to break down how I can successfully deal with anger in a Godly and Biblical manner.  Come back…

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