PASTOR'S PEN: What are you angry about?
By Pastor David Stiles
Baldwin Baptist Church
Do you have an unrealistic expectation of some sort? Do you think you're angry because, oh, maybe a set of imagined rights are being violated by an ignorant person you know? You think, "I'm entitled." Entitled to defend my selfish, self centered wants in uncontrolled wicked anger! No you're not. What does that make you? That means you are outside of the will of God. Is that how you want to live your life?
The Bible says: "Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry, for anger resteth in the bosom of fools," (Ecc.7:9).
Anger is the type of emotional response we rationalize too often. We may justify wrong behavior with excuses but are really defending sin in our life. We must repent and forsake the sin that enslaves us. God tells us, "Be ye angry and sin not," (Eph.4:26). The very next verse says, "Neither give place to the devil," (Eph.4:27).
Yes, it seems there may be demonic behavior following outbursts of anger. Children are abused by angry parents. Spouses are attacked and sometimes killed by those who feel entitled to invented rights. Listen to God: ''He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly,"(Prov.14:17).
"A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife," (Prov.15:18). Repent and seek forgiveness from almighty God and the person who is the victim of such foolish behavior. There is strength in self control. "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city," (Prov. 16:32).
Do you enjoy strife? God says, "An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression,"(Prov 29:22). How do you live? How do you respond when you feel yourself getting angry? You must do something to stop it! Now, you may think it's okay to blow up on someone, or equally wicked, to clam up over an issue which needs to be talked about; but communication is needed in families and in the work place.
Will you be in God's will for life? Communication means you must listen as well as speak. We are told by God, "Cease from anger, and forsake wrath, fret not thyself in any wise to do evil,"(Psa.37:8). What is lacking in the lives of too many anger-filled individuals is the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the book of Gal. 5:23, one of the parts of the fruit of the Spirit is temperance (self control). The Holy Spirit grows this fruit in believers if you will listen to Him. Be surrendered to what God wants and listen. "The discretion of a man deferreth his anger, and it is his glory to pass over a transgression,"(Prov.19:11). When you think your rights have been violated, stop and think again. "A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger," (Prov.15:1).
Will you listen to the wisdom of God? For parents, God says, "Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged," (Col. 3:21). Remember anger is a learned behavior. What are you teaching others? Watch who you are influenced by, because the Bible says, "Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul," (Prov 22:25). Do you have angry friends that are teaching you an uncontrolled life is okay?
You may say people don't understand your circumstances. Yes, choices do matter when it comes to the future. "It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman,"(Prov.21:19). This would apply to any of us. Don't live in your sin. Come to Christ. Christ will change your life if you let Him. You must be born again. You then have the Holy Spirit to help you. He will change you. Even believers are told in the Bible, "Let all bitterness and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice," (Eph.4:31). Get rid of this behavior! Do it now! Stop making excuses for it. Repent and get right with Almighty God. Before the damage is permanent in your life, yield to the will of God.
"Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you," (Eph. 4:32). Seek the forgiveness from God without delay. Finally, pay attention to Col. 3:8, "But now ye also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth." There is hope today. Hope in Christ. Don't be carried away with our culture of anger and hate. Put your faith in Christ then make your body a living sacrifice for God. Live right or pay the penalty in God's judgment of sin.
How will you deal with your sin, whatever that sin may be? Jesus says in Matt. 5:22, "That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment." Will you risk it or repent? Remember God for Christ has forgiven you. Will you develop a forgiving spirit, or will you keep being angry? Christ died on the cross and shed his blood to deal with your sin. Accept his free gift now. Don't wait. Don't hesitate.