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Dealing With Our Problems Biblically: Anger, Part 2

April 6, 2015

Grace to you! Last week we saw that the Bible says we can be angry and not sin. Yet, it also provides guidelines that limit what righteous anger is. We see that the vast majority of the time our anger is sinful. So how do we move forward? How do we handle anger in a way that honors God? Before we begin, we have to understand what is driving our anger before we can know how to deal with it. So where does our anger come from?

First let’s look at where it does NOT come from. It does not come from biology. How often have your heard, “Well, look at him throw a fit. That’s just the Kilgore side of his family coming out in him.” It’s as if some are born mad because they come from a certain family. Modern man has gotten more sophisticated with our cultural way of deflecting personal responsibility for our anger by saying we are genetically born a certain way. In short, sinful behaviors in today’s society are attributed to some biological factor rather than a person’s free choice. But Scripture locates the heart of the problem with the problem of the heart! “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” (Matthew 15:19) We are sinfully angry because we freely choose to get angry.

Nor does a person’s sinful anger come from their environment. People often blame their surroundings for the reason they are mad. “You MAKE me so mad!” is a common refrain we hear. But that statement is simply not true. Nothing or no one can force you to be angry. Jesus was ill treated, spit upon, shamed, slapped, hit, mocked, falsely accused, and even crucified unjustly. Yet “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; (1Peter 2:21-23) Jesus had the worst of circumstances thrown at him, yet He responded in a way that honored the Father. Neither circumstances nor the people involved could MAKE Him get sinfully angry.

So how does this help us? Well, as is often said, the first thing to do in fixing a problem is to admit that you have one! Scripture clearly puts the problem of our anger on us. Our hearts get angry for reasons that lie within us. And next week we will look at why we get angry. But for now, let’s take an honest look at ourselves and realize that myself, and myself alone, is the sole reason for my sinful anger. From here we can move forward to God’s grace in dealing with our problems.

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