Speaking the Truth in Love
Webster's Dictionary defines "anger" as a strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism. It goes on to say that the term "anger" names the reaction but in itself conveys nothing about intensity or justification or manifestation of the emotional state. Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words says that the word "anger" (orge) came to signify the strongest of all passions. Another word, "wrath" (thumos) used in the Bible describes a more agitated condition of the feelings, an outburst of wrath from inward indignation. It may result in seeking revenge.
A. Anger is a hard concept to get a handle on. It is a natural emotion that all of us experience, and one that we are told that God experiences as well.
1. God was often angry with the children of Israel when they sinned (Numbers 32:10-15)
a. He was furious and angry with them because of unbelief and lack of trust (Psalm 78:21-22)
b. He was provoked to wrath by their rebellion (Deuteronomy 9:7)
2. Jesus became angry with people because of the hardness of their heart (Mark 3:5)
3. God is also slow to anger (Nehemiah 9:17)
B. Anger, in and of itself, is not sinful (Ephesians 4:26)
1. However, man's wrath does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:20)
C. When or how does anger become sinful? Anger is sinful when:
2. One has great wrath (Proverbs 19:19)
3. It is fierce and cruel (Genesis 49:6-7)
4. One is angry for the wrong reason (Jonah 4:1-9)
5. One is angry without cause (Matthew 5:22)
6. One stirs up strife with it (Proverbs 15:18)
a. We are to appease anger not stir things up with it (Proverbs 16:14, 29:8)
b. One who provokes another to anger sins (Proverbs 20:2)
(1) This can be done with a harsh word (Proverbs 15:1)
(2) This can be done by backbiting( which often is motivated by anger)
(3) This can be done by being angry yourself (Proverbs 29:22)
7. One's nature is to be angry and contentious (Proverbs 21:19)
a. Solomon warns against friendship with an angry man (Proverbs 22:24)
b. One who is contentious kindles strife. He is compared to charcoal or wood that burns (Proverbs 26:21).
8. Anger is not held back or controlled (Proverbs 12:16, 14:29)
a. Anger is a strong emotion and hard to control. It is described in Esther 1:12 as burning within.
9. When it is used to seek one's own vengeance (Romans 12:19)
10. It leads to other sins such as:
b. Not giving God glory (Genesis 20:10-12)
c. Not obeying God (2 Kings 5:11-12)
d. Attempted murder (Luke 4 28-29)
e. Confusion and riot (Acts 19:28-29)
E. How can we control or cease from anger? The answer is by trusting in the Lord and not fretting about evildoers (Psalm 37:1-8).
F. How can we help others get in control of their anger?
1. Use gentle and common sense persuasion (2 Kings 5:11-14)
2. Use a soft answer (Proverbs 15:1)
Are you angry with others or angry with yourself? Are you angry at the world? Do you have a tough time controlling your anger? Why not obey the Lord tonight, and He will help you with you control your anger. He will also give you a hope of Heaven. He will be there by your side as you go through trials. He will forgive you of all your past mistakes and sins when you repent and are baptized for their remission. Anger is all around us in the world today. Satan uses anger to his advantage. Why not overcome your anger by submitting to Jesus Christ? We hope to see you next time on "Speaking the Truth in Love".