Anger & Me
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Psalm 103:8, Matthew 7:1–7:5, Proverbs 12:16, Proverbs 29:11, James 1:19–1:20
Psalm 103:8 NIV
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
The Goodness of God's Anger
Because God is love, and holy, and just, He is able to be angry at the right things in the right way at the right time for the right reasons in the right proportions.
ANGER: 2.0 Essential Biblical Truths (revised)
(1) God's anger is always good.
(2) Not all of our anger is bad... but a lot of it is.
Our Anger vs. God's Anger
We’re not God, so we’re not always able to be angry at the right things in the right way at the right time for the right reasons in the right proportions. Because of this, our anger is often unrighteous and unjustified.
Why We Get Angry: 4 Steps in Anger
ANGER: Some Definitions
Anger is: “a strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism.” (Webster’s Dictionary); “a response to some event or situation in life that causes us irritation, frustration, pain, or other displeasure.” (Gary Chapman); “a whole-personed active response of negative moral judgment against perceived evil.” (Robert Jones). Yet to better deal with our anger, it's not enough to know what anger is, we need to understand why we get angry.
Why We Get Angry: Step #1 - Provocation
Something outside of you provokes you. Anger always involves a response or a reaction to something; anger never happens in a vacuum. There’s some kind of trigger-event that sets everything into motion—a spilled drink, a lost jacket, a bad grade, a flat tire, a harsh word, a missed anniversary, a broken promise, a shattered dream… the list is endless.
Why We Get Angry: Step #2 - Interpretation
So much goes into how we interpret the things that happen to us, which in turn, influences our anger. This interpretation step is where the separation begins between God’s anger and our inconsistent and often unrighteous anger. We don't know everything God knows, so we jump to conclusions before knowing all the facts. Also because of an inward bent toward selfishness, we can interpret life through a self-centered lens where it's all about us.
Matthew 7:1-5 NIV
1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Why We Get Angry: Step #3 - Experience
After something happens to us, and we interpret that something, we then experience the emotion of anger. We feel angry. Yet it's important to note that there’s nothing wrong with angry feelings in and of themselves. While anger is a hard emotion to experience, it doesn’t mean it’s a wrong emotion to experience. Our angry feelings are actually a reminder that we’re created God’s image.
Why We Get Angry: Step #4 - Response
Once we experience anger, the question is: “What are we going to do with that anger?” It’s the difference between our angry feelings versus our angry actions. Of the four steps we’ve covered, the Bible talks more about this one than all the rest. The Scriptures won’t take you to task for feeling angry, but they’ll be quick to condemn you for responding in your unrighteous anger.
Proverbs 12:16 NIV
16 Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.
Proverbs 29:11 NIV
11 Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.
James 1:19-20 NIV
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.