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Scripture Reading: James 1:19-22
Why Are You Angry?
1. Anger retained is sin, Eph. 4:26. Whether it is a settled disposition of agitation (orge, Col. 3:8) or an outburst of fury and wrath (thumos, Gal. 5:20), anger is a work of the flesh that must be eliminated.
2. But, what causes anger? Anger does not self-generate, it is triggered by something. Anger has been called a “secondary” emotion, because it comes from an underlying emotion, attitude, or action. (Jacob’s anger triggered by being unjustly blamed, Gen. 30:1-2.)
3. The Bible gives answers on how to control anger, but that can happen only to the degree that we successfully identify why we are angry (the root causes of anger).
I. ANGER CAN DEVELOP AND ERUPT FROM MANY SOURCES.
-(Not an exhaustive treatment, but representative)
A. When Others Don’t Do What We Demand of Them, Num. 24:10.
1. A control issue – Problem is, you don’t control others!
2. See this is marriages (Col. 3:19), parents/children (Eph. 6:4), churches (3 Jno. 9-10).
3. We must control ourselves (not others), 2 Pet. 1:5-6; Gal. 5:23.
B. Envy, Jealousy and Selfishness are Triggers of Anger, Gen. 4:3-7.
1. Pride is the source of this kind of anger.
2. “I deserve what he/she has!” “I am better than he/she is!” etc.
3. Humble contentment and acceptance is needed to prevent anger’s eruption, Phil. 4:11-13.
C. Guilt and Shame Can Lead to Anger, cf. Acts 7:51-54.
1. Deflective, defensive response to avoid personal accountability.
2. Conceit and pride must be overcome in order to look honestly at ourselves and correct our own sin, 2 Sam. 12:5-7, 13; Psa. 32:8-9.
D. Frustration Often Leads to Anger, 2 Sam. 6:6-9.
1. David was displeased and angry over God and His Judgments.
2. Like David, some get frustrated with God’s ways, and are angry at God without cause (as if their way must be His way, Isa. 55:8).
3. Self-importance provokes anger and keeps us from God.
4. “Thy will (not mine) be done” overcomes this trigger.
E. When Our Expectations Are Not Met, 2 Kgs. 5:10-12.
1. Again, anger came from self-importance (arrogance).
2. Anger prevents the outcome we (supposedly) desire, 2 Kgs. 5:13.
F. When We Are Sinned Against, Prov. 25:23.
1. Hurt, harm, injustice, lack of love, etc. – All these happen when we are sinned against (and when we sin against someone).
2. Answer is to commit yourself to God’s judgments, 1 Pet. 2:21-23.
3. Longsuffering needed in the face of sinful treatment, 2 Cor. 6:3-6.
G. Unresolved Issues with Others Can Lead to Anger, Matt. 5:21-26.
1. You take initiative so someone will not be angry at you, 5:23.
2. Answer is immediate reconciliation, 5:24.
II. KNOW THE DANGERS OF ANGER AND REFUSE TO BE ANGRY.
A. The Quick-Tempered Person Acts Foolishly with Evil Intentions, Prov. 14:17.
B. Anger Drives Away Those Who Should be Close, Prov. 21:19.
-Husbands and wives, parents and children, brethren (Phil. 2:1-4).
C. Anger Aggravates Problems and Leads to More Sin, Prov. 29:22 (Jas. 1:20).
D. Anger Rests in the Bosom of Fools, Eccl. 7:9.
-To give anger a place to dwell in our heart is foolish and destructive.
III. GOD SHOWS US HOW TO BE SLOW TO ANGER, Psa. 103:8-12.
A. God is Slow to Anger Because: (Follow His example)
1. He is merciful and gracious, 103:8.
2. He looks for ways to remove His anger (He does not hold grudges), 103:9.
3. He is not interested in retaliation (pay back), 103:10.
4. His mercy is not removed when we sin, it is magnified because of our sins, 103:11.
5. He forgives, 103:12.
B. Learn Discretion and Overcome the Impulses that Lead to Anger, Prov. 19:11; 29:11. (understanding, prudence, wisdom, self-control)
1. Anger is a sin we must eliminate (Col. 3:8).
2. Anger often springs from other sins that must also be identified, acknowledged and overcome in faith.
3. If we don’t kill the root of anger, the plant will revive – the volcano will erupt – and destroy us forever.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted April 3, 2019