ANGER - FACING THE FIRE WITHIN
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FACING THE FIRE WITHIN
Looking through the Lens of Anger
"In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
Anger is a God-given emotion, yet many believe anger is always negative, always a sin. We stuff it, hide it, avoid it, and deny it. Hidden anger only fuels the fire inside.
Identify the four sources of anger and learn how to apply the quick answer to anger. You will also find biblical solutions for resolving past anger and practical tools to identify triggers, handle angry people, and act rather than react in volatile situations.God desires to give you hope as you face life challenges, problems and difficult trials. The good news for us, God specializes in redemption and transformation. He takes that which was lost and restores it. He takes that which was dead and gives it life. He takes that which had no hope and rewrites its story. This is our God! As you pray today, ask God boldly to transform the thing inside you that you want to see changed forever!
In discussing anger, we must realize that not all anger is wrong. When the Bible mentions anger, it may be focusing on several different emotions.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.”
- Anger is appropriate at certain times.
- Anger must be resolved, or it becomes sinful.
- Anger can be curtailed.Anger, if not stopped, can be used by Satan.
- Anger, if prolonged, gives ground to Satan.
- Anger can lead to unwholesome talk.
- Anger can grieve the Holy Spirit.
- Anger can be totally cancelled.Anger becomes sin when it results in bitterness.
- Anger must be eradicated before it turns to rage.
- Anger must be let go before it leads to fighting.
- Anger must be overcome before it leads to slander.
- Anger must be mastered before it becomes malicious.
- Anger can be conquered through kindness and compassion.
- Anger can be fought and defeated through forgiveness.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
The Anger Quiz
- What triggers your anger?
- How do you generally express your anger?
- What do you desire when you are angry? Do you get what you desire?
- Do you ever lose control of your anger?
- Is your anger harming your relationships?
- Has your anger ever caused any health problems?
- Do others point out your anger even if you don’t see it? If so, when, and what do they say?
- Does your anger ever become physical?
- When you get angry, how safe do you feel?
- When you get angry, how safe do others feel?
- Did anyone in your childhood home have an anger problem
- As a child, how did you feel when you were on the receiving end of someone’s anger?
- Do you think anger from your childhood could still be impacting you today?
- Do you have difficulty forgiving those toward whom you have anger?
- Do you have someone wise to talk with about your anger?
- Do you ever pray about your anger?
- What is your view of God in the midst of angering situations?
- How do you think you should respond to God when you feel angry?
- How do you think you should respond to others when you feel angry?
- What can you learn from a recent anger problem that will help you better handle your anger?
“Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.”
Four Sources of Anger
- Hurt: Your heart is wounded.
Biblical Example: The Sons of Jacob (Genesis 37:3–4)
2. Injustice: Your right is violated.
Biblical Example: King Saul (1 Samuel 20:32–34)
3. Fear: Your future is threatened.
Biblical Example: King Saul (1 Samuel 18:8, 12)
4. Frustration: Your performance is not accepted.
Biblical Example: Cain (Genesis 4:3–5, 8)
“The wise turn away anger.”
Four Styles of Handling Anger
- Prolonged anger—the “simmering stew”— is held in for a long time. (Hebrews 12:15)
Example: “I’ll never forgive the way he talked to me years ago.”
2. Pressed-down anger—the “pressure cooker”— is denied or hidden anger. (1 Peter 3:10)
Example: “I never get angry—maybe just a little irritated at times.”
3. Provoked anger—the “short fuse”— is quick and impatient, instantly irritated or incensed. (Ecclesiastes 7:9)
Example: “I can’t believe you said that! You’re so childish!”
4. Profuse anger—the “volatile volcano”— is powerful, destructive, hard to control. (Matthew 5:22)
Example: “You fool—if you do that again, you’ll wish you’d never been born!”
The Root Cause of Anger
Wrong Belief: “When I am hurt, fearful, frustrated, or treated unfairly, I have the right to be angry until the situation changes. It is only natural for me to be angry about the disappointments in my life and to express my anger in whatever way I choose.”
Right Belief: “Since I have trusted Christ with my life and have yielded my rights to Him, I choose not to be controlled by anger. My human disappointments are now God’s appointments to increase my faith and develop His character in me.” (See 1 Peter 1:6–7.)
- Putting Away Past Anger
- Realize your unresolved anger. (Psalm 38:18)
- Revisit your root feelings. (Psalm 139:23–24)
- Release your rights regarding the offense. (Proverbs 17:9)
- Recognize your need to forgive. (Colossians 3:13)
- Rejoice in God’s purpose for allowing your pain. (1 Peter 5:10)
- Restore the relationship ... when appropriate. (Matthew 5:22–24)
- Receive God’s love for you ... personally. (Ephesians 3:17–19)
- Reflect Christ’s love. (John 13:34–35)
Alleviating Present Anger
- Acknowledge your anger. (Proverbs 28:13)
- Ascertain your style. (Psalm 26:2)
- Assess the source. (1 Chronicles 29:17)
- Appraise your thinking. (Proverbs 21:29)
- Admit your needs. (Philippians 4:19)
- Abandon your demands. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
- Address your anger. (Proverbs 25:15)
- Alter your attitudes. (Philippians 2:2–8)
How to Communicate Your Anger to Another
- Choose to be proactive.
- Examine your motivation.
- Be realistic in your expectations.
- Assess the legitimacy of your request.
- Anticipate possible reactions from the other person.
- Decide whether you are willing to live with any negative repercussions.
Choose a time and place to talk.
- Select a time and place convenient for both of you, in an atmosphere conducive for listening and sharing.
- Meet on “neutral turf” so that both of you are likely to feel equal in power and importance.
- Allot sufficient time to address the concerns both of you have.
- Commit the time to God and seek His wisdom and understanding.
Choose to communicate your desires for open and honest communication and resolution.
- Express your pain and anger in a loving, non-accusatory way.
- Give opportunity for a response without interruption or defensiveness on your part.
- Request any desired changes in behavior that you believe will resolve the present problem and prevent future problems.
- Agree to change any problematic behavior on your part.
- Extend total forgiveness unreservedly and willingly.
- Value differences in goals, desires, and priorities.
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”
(Proverbs 25:11 KJV)
When Anger Is Getting Out of Control
Stop and take a deep breath.
- Hold up your hands to indicate you are “surrendering” for the time being by calling a halt to what is taking place.
- State slowly in a low tone of voice that either you are getting too upset to think clearly or that the conversation is not going in a positive direction and does not seem to be resolving anything.
- Explain that you need to calm down and regain a cool head. Then take a walk around the block, retreat to a quiet place to listen to music, or do whatever helps you regain your composure.
- Agree on a time to resume the conversation once you have regained your composure and have processed what has been said.
If you reach an impasse where agreement between the two of you is not possible ...
- Agree to have different opinions on the subject, but refuse to let those differences become a problem in the relationship.
- Remember, if two people agree on everything all the time, their relationship runs the high risk of becoming stagnant and void of growth.
- Decide to engage in stimulating conversations where varied opinions are expressed in order to develop listening skills, to learn from others, and to practice expressing your opinions to others in a clear and concise (non-offensive) manner.
- Commit to valuing, accepting, and respecting each other as you grow in your understanding of one another.
- “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. ... Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.” (Proverbs 18:2; Romans 14:1)
The Quick Answer to Anger
At times, we can quickly resolve our anger with a 2-step solution. This answer to anger involves one question and one action step.
Step 1. Ask ... “Can I change this situation?”
Step 2. Action ... If you can change it, change it. If you can’t, release it.
Going back to the first step: Can you change what angers you?
Answer yes or no—that’s it.
Now consider the second step: If you answered yes, you are angry about something you can change—then change it.
If the door squeaks, oil it.
If the faucet leaks, fix it.
If you answered no, you are angry about something you cannot change—so release it.
If your house burns down, release it (the fear).
If your loved one dies, release it (the hurt).
First, list what angers you. Then, go to God in all humility, refusing to demand your rights and surrendering the situation and yourself to the Lord. Although you may feel completely powerless, in reality you have the power to release anger, pain, and anxiety to Him.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
(1 Peter 5:7)
Key Verses to Learn
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
Key Passage to Read
Ephesians 4:26–27, 29–32
Grace Filled Words
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
Ephesians 4:26–27, 29–32
God will never leave you.
No matter what.
Let’s hold on to God’s promise of joy!
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God desires to give you hope as you face life challenges, problems and difficult trials. The good news for us, God specializes in redemption and transformation. He takes that which was lost and restores it. He takes that which was dead and gives it life. He takes that which had no hope and rewrites its story. This is our God! As you pray today, ask God boldly to transform the thing inside you that you want to see changed forever!
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