“Three Things to Avoid When You are Angry,” by Rick Warren, posted June 22, 2018 at: http://www.pastorrick.org
“In your anger, do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:26a)
We all get angry from time to time. We may handle it differently, but none of us can escape the emotion entirely. But just because we get angry doesn’t mean we’re sinning. The Bible says, “If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin” (Ephesians 4:26a GNT). Paul tells us in this passage not to let our anger lead us into sin. That means that anger isn’t necessarily sin. The truth is, we can deal with our anger in both appropriate and inappropriate ways. Unfortunately, most of us express our anger in ways that get us further from our goals instead of moving us closer to them.
Here are three things to avoid when you’re angry:
Don’t suppress your anger. Don’t store it up inside. When you suppress anger without expressing it in proper ways, it’s like taking a soft drink bottle and shaking it up. One day it’s going to pop. It’ll impact your body eventually. Doctors tell us a number of physical ailments are often brought on by suppressed anger.
Don’t repress it. When you repress your anger, you simply deny it’s there. Deny your anger often enough and you’ll be depressed. When I used to do more counseling, I’d hear many people tell me they were depressed, but they were really just angry. They just didn’t think that Christians should get angry, so they simply bottled it up inside. Denying anger is a sin. It’s called lying.
Don’t express it in inappropriate ways. We can express anger in a variety of inappropriate ways. We pout, spit sarcasm, manipulate, or do something stupid (get drunk, have affairs, etc.).
None of those approaches get us anywhere near the result we’re looking for. So what should we do with our anger? Confess it. You don’t just admit the anger, but you also admit the cause. You tell God — and whoever you’re angry with — that you’re frustrated or you feel threatened. The more honest you can be in your relationships, the easier it will be to get to the root causes of your anger.
Here’s the good news about your anger: Inappropriate anger is learned, but it can be unlearned, too. You can change. You don’t have to stay the same.
You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. –Buddha
Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you”ll ever regret. –Laurence J. Peter
Anybody can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose– that is not easy. –Aristotle
To be angry is to revenge the faults of others on ourselves. –Alexander Pope
When anger rises, think of the consequences. –Confucius
How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it. –Marcus Aurelius
Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame. –Benjamin Franklin
Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. –Mark Twain
There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help and what they cannot. –Plato
Anger is a wind that blows out the lamp of the mind. –Robert Green Ingersoll
Keep cool; anger is not an argument. –Daniel Webster
Ephesians 4:26-27 — In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
Psalm 4:4 — Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.
Proverbs 15:1 — A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 30:33 — For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.
James 1:19-20 — My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Psalm 37:7-9 — Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
A PRAYER WHEN DEALING WITH ANGER:
Dear God, I am blinded by anger. I feel nothing but rage. It is like a fire that is all-consuming, a wildfire destroying everything in its path. Please put out this fire. Shower your love and peace over me and quench this fury inside of me.
Remove this blindness. Help me to see and understand the spark that ignited this fury.
Help me to seek the truth. Was it shame, was it blame, or was it righteous anger?
Give me the courage to respond in a spirit of truth and love in this situation. Help me to use this anger in a positive way.
Renew a spirit of peace within me. When anger blurs my vision, help me to trust that your love and peace will always see me through. Amen.
–Jackie Trottmann at: http://www.guidedchristianmeditation.com