Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Resolve Anger

Anger and unforgiveness are a barrier to our relationship with the Lord and others. Choosing to forgive and love others by faith, regardless of our feelings, is God’s desire.

Put Away Anger and Bitterness
Ephesians 4:31 instructs us to “let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you.” Maybe you struggle with some of these emotions, feeling you have a right to them because of how you’ve been treated.

But Ephesians goes on to say, “Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.” Being kind and forgiving someone is extremely difficult when your feelings aren’t so loving! However, at some point, even though you may not want to, you decide to try to love the one who has mistreated you. To your surprise, you discover that it doesn’t work! You can control what you say, the way you look at them, and the way you behave, but you can’t control your feelings. Why is that?

2 Corinthians 3:5-6 gives us an answer: So yes, you can possibly control your behavior, and the way you talk, but you can’t control your spirit. The Christian life isn’t a matter of self-improvement, or will power, or determination, it’s a matter of a changed heart, and only God can change your heart!

Ask God to change your heart!

How to Love by Faith

God loves you unconditionally. You are commanded to love others – God, your neighbors, your enemies. You are incapable of loving others in your own strength. You can love others with God’s love.

How to Deal with Your Anger

Anger is a universal problem. I have observed it in the primitive cannibals in Irian Jaya, uncivilized Indians in the remote jungles of Brazil, illiterate people in tiny villages deep in the forest of Zaire, my playmates when I was a child, in my parents, church members, pastors, highly educated people, the very rich, people in government, and yes, even in myself. Call it what you will: mad, angry, frustrated, annoyed, perturbed, ticked off – all of these words represent a form of anger.

You cannot decide to be angry. You can take elaborate precautions to avoid being angry. But, alas, sooner or later anger underneath your skin is triggered by a memory, someone’s behavior, a conversation, a phone call, or a letter. It can cause your heart to beat faster, make you sweat, tense up your muscles, foul up your digestive system, alter the way you think, dictate how you act, and trigger negative words from your mouth.

There seems to be universal agreement that anger must be tamed. Yet there is vast disagreement over the cause and the cure.

Step 1: Recognize Anger as Sin

The Biblical prescription for dealing with destructive anger is precise and strong. Strife, malice, hatred, outbursts of wrath, dissension, contention, and the like are works of the flesh–of the sinful nature (Galatians 5:19-21, Colossians 3-8). They are sin, and that’s good news because there is a divine solution for sin. God promised to help you. Dealing with sin is His specialty. Acts 4:12 says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

A simple step that gives you a source of strength to “stop” angry responses is to invite Jesus to come into your life.

Yet many competent, able people have a hard time accepting the fact that we need supernatural help. “I can manage my anger. Isn’t that good enough?” It certainly beats exploding. But the best you can do is to manage your anger. Only God can help you to “stop” because anger is sin. Therefore, you need a Savior who will cleanse you of your sins.

It is not inevitable that we must spend the rest of our lives struggling with anger. It can be “put away.” Once we accept the fact that anger is sin and we need a Savior, we can practice a simple Biblical directive–daily, if necessary: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Anger is sin. It is destructive. God will cleanse the anger out of our hearts.

Step 2: Replace Anger with the Fruit of the Spirit

When you have a forgiven, cleansed heart, you can ask God for the power of the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of the Spirit in your life as described in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

You will still have problems, face injustices, and encounter difficult people–as everyone does. You will still need to be energized, alerted, and motivated to correct what needs correcting. But a Christian knows that a person energized by the Holy Spirit with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control has the strength to conquer the bitter, sarcastic words; anxiety; bodily tensions; and violent behavior that formerly characterized him.

A Christian does not always surrender to God perfectly any more than he can manage himself perfectly. Few people make it through any given day perfectly. But with God’s help, you can catch anger at the earliest possible point.


Source: http://biblicalcounselinginsights.com

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