Sept 7, 2016
WOFCF Bible Explosion
Dealing with Anger – Lesson One (James 1:19-20)
When a person becomes a Christian, his/her conduct and personality should undergo certain changes. One of these changes has to do with temper. A Christian should react in a Christian way and should not lose his/her temper. In this series, we will deal with the problem of anger (rage/wrath) and temper (irritability/annoyance). We will see the root cause of temper and learn how we can be delivered from the sin of temper.
Point #1 The Destructiveness of Anger (Genesis 4)
The first man to discover the destructive power of anger was Cain. Cain and his brother, Abel, were the first two sons of Adam. When these sons grew up, Cain became a farmer and Abel became a shepherd. Cain and Abel had been taught the right way to worship God. They knew that God required an offering of innocent animals as a sacrifice for their sins. But, when they came to worship God, only one brother was obedient to God. Abel brought a lamb as his offering, but Cain brought fruit from his crops as his offering. God accepted Abel and his offering, but He rejected Cain and his offering. As a result of this, Cain became very angry. He was angry at God and jealous of his brother.
God warned Cain of the consequences of his anger. God's message to Cain was this: "Look out! Your anger is like a lion lying in wait outside your door. You must master your anger or it will master you." But Cain did not respond to God's warning. His jealousy of Abel turned into hatred. One day, as Cain and Abel were in the field together, Cain rose up against his brother and murdered him. Thus the first man born into this world became a murderer because he did not control his anger.
Point #2 Dealing with Anger
Like Cain, we can have the "lion" of anger within us. We must master (with the help of the Holy Spirit…we need God!) it or it will master us. God has not said that we are never to be angry, but He has warned us of the danger of uncontrolled anger. The Bible says, "'Be angry, and do not sin': do not let the sun go down on your wrath." (Ephesians 4:26). Anger is the most violent of human emotions. Because it involves such strong feelings, anger borders closely on sin. When we are angry, we are in danger of sinning. There are three things we can do with our anger:
We can express it.
When anger is out of control, it does great damage. When we become so angry that we want to lash out at someone and hurt them, we are sinning deeply. We call this "losing our temper." Sometimes we think that we show how strong we are when we lose our temper, but losing our temper is a sign of weakness, not strength. The Bible says, "Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools." (Ecclesiastes 7:9)
We can suppress it.
To suppress (conquer/defeat) anger is to keep it inside. Some people lose their temper and express their anger openly. Others have the same angry feelings but manage to keep them bottled up inside. Anger that is bottled up or kept inside of us hurts and keeps on hurting. It turns to resentment and bitterness, and it can bring on depression as well as many kinds of physical or mental illnesses.
We can confess it.
The best way to handle angry feelings is to tell God about them. This is a way to "let off steam" without sinning. God knows us better than we know ourselves, and we will always find Him to be understanding.
Just being in God's presence helps to calm us. It also helps us to see things in their proper perspective. Many times we discover that the thing we were disturbed about was not really so important after all.