BE ANGRY !!!
AND SIN NOT !!!
We all face the problem of sinful anger. We know what it is like to lose our temper, blow our stack and fly off the handle at others. Sometimes we tend to boil up and burn up within with bitterness and resentment. The Bible teaches that wrath or anger is one of the "works of the ________________" (produced by our old sinful nature--Galatians 5:19-20). Thus God tells the believer what do do with sinful anger:
"PUT IT_____________" (Colossians 3:8)
"PUT IT_____________" (Ephesians 4:31)
Indeed, the book of Proverbs has much to say about sinful anger (see Proverbs 14:17,29; 15:18; 19:11; 22:24-25; 29:22). James tells us that we are to be
. . .
(see James 1:19)
SWIFT (QUICK) TO _________
SLOW TO _________ (see Proverbs 29:20)
SLOW TO _________
James 1:20 gives the reason why:
Man is swift to anger; but
God is ____________ ______ _______________ (Psalm 103:8).
Sinful anger is expressed in different ways.
Many people are like a living, active volcano--they tend to erupt and explode (Mount Vesuvius style or Mount Saint Helens style!). They let it all come out, and the smoke and lava pours forth! Those who live near or around the eruption must suffer from the damaging effects of mans sinful anger and temper. Anger which is allowed to BLOW UP primarily hurts and destroys OTHERS (although the person who explodes will also be hurt, just as in firing a gun at another there is often a powerful recoil).
Sinful anger is also manifested in a less obvious yet equally damaging way. Some keep anger within, allowing this powerful emotion to slowly burn and boil. As they hold it in, bitterness and resentment slowly begin to build up. Boiling anger is just as sinful as exploding anger! The difference is that anger which is allowed to BOIL UP primarily hurts and destroys SELF (although others will certainly be affected by the built up bitterness and resentment).
|BLOWING UP TOWARD OTHERS||BLOWING UP WITHIN SELF|
Yes you can! You do it all the time! Consider this:
Mrs. Jones loses her patience and begins yelling at the
children. Mr. Jones, who is trying to read the paper,
finally can take it no longer! He violently explodes at
both his wife and the children! Suddenly, in the middle
of this eruption, the doorbell rings and its Pastor Smith
who has stopped by for a visit. Mr. and Mrs. Jones go to
the door and with a warm smile say, "Pastor Smith, its
so good to see you!"
Do you see what they did? They immediately controlled their temper (because they did not want their Pastor to enter their home and see two active volcanoes!!). If we can control our anger in such fleshly ways, how much more can the Spirit of God control this powerful emotion for Gods glory, if we will but let Him!
Elsewhere in our notes we studied that worry (being rightfully worried and concerned about our relationship with Christ), fear (the fear of the LORD) and doubt (being rightly suspicious of others who may be trying to deceive us) can be very healthy and helpful emotional responses, even as God intended them to be. What normally is considered a VICE can become a VIRTUE if it is used in the right way according to Gods Word.
The same is true with ANGER. The Lord has built into man the emotional capacity to BE ANGRY, and this powerful emotion was originally meant to be helpful and not harmful. Anger can be a proper and useful emotion! Yes, there is such a thing as a HEALTHY, HOLY, RIGHTEOUS ANGER (sometimes called "righteous indignation").
"God is _____________ with the wicked ______________ _______" (Psalm 7:11). God is always and ever angry against sin!
Consider the following passages and discuss why the Lord Jesus was angry:
Caution: The Lord knows that with frail men righteous anger can easily become sinful anger, so He adds the words, "and _______ not" (Eph. 4:26). Its easy for us to get angry at the wrong things or to get angry at the right things for the wrong reasons! If your sinful anger has harmed someone else, dont go to bed until you have corrected the problem in Gods way (prior to the age of electric lights people used to go to bed when the sun went down!).
As you consider the following people and their anger, decide whether their anger was SINFUL (indicate by "S") or RIGHTEOUS (indicate by "R"):
|1.||______||Cain (Genesis 4:5-6).|
|2.||______||Esau (Genesis 27:41-45).|
|3.||______||Moses (Exodus 16:20; 32:19 Leviticus 10:16-17).|
|4.||______||Moses (Numbers 20:7-13; compare Numbers 27:12-14; Deut. 1:37; Psalm 106:33).|
|5.||______||Balak (Numbers 24:10).|
|6.||______||Saul (1 Samuel 11:6).|
|7.||______||Saul (1 Samuel 20:30).|
|8.||______||David (1 Samuel 17:26, 45-46).|
|9.||______||David (2 Samuel 12:5; note: David was right in getting angry at the sin of this man, but who should he really have been angry at?).|
|10.||______||Elisha (2 Kings 13:19).|
|11.||______||Asa (2 Chronicles 16:10).|
|12.||______||Nehemiah (Nehemiah 5:6).|
|13.||______||Jonah (Jonah 3:10; 4:1-11).|
|14.||______||Herod (Matthew 2:16).|
|15.||______||People of Nazareth (Luke 4:28).|
|16.||______||The Elder Brother (Luke 15:28).|
|17.||______||The Jerusalem Jews (Acts 7:54-58).|
|18.||______||Saul (Acts 9:1).|
|19.||______||Paul (Acts 13:9-11; Galatians 1:7-9).|
|20.||______||Satan (Rev. 12:12,17).|
Anger was intended to be a very constructive (not destructive) motivating force in our lives. It is a powerful emotion and this power may be used in good and helpful ways. God is glorified when we are angry in the right way and for the right reason!
"Blowing up" and "boiling up" has never solved one problem, nor has it ever helped one person! When we blow up or boil up, we are directing all of our energy at others and at ourself in a harmful way, and our problems only grow worse. How much better to redirect that energy and use that energy to attack and to solve the problem! Why not harness this vast supply of energy and put it to good use!
Am I angry at sin in my own life? Am I angry at the sinful ways in which I have treated my family and loved ones? Is all of my energy being used to straighten things out with the Lord and with others?
STOP BEING ANGRY AGAINST OTHERS AND AGAINST GOD!! BE ANGRY WITH YOURSELF IN A GOOD WAY!!
"THOU art the man"
(see 2 SAMUEL 12:1-9)