DEALING WTH ANGER BIBLICALLY
There are two basic steps in dealing with anger from a biblical perspective.
1. Recognize Anger as Sin
God’s prescription for dealing with destructive anger is precise and strong. Strife, malice, hatred, anger, outbursts of wrath, dissension, and contention are works of the flesh—of the sinful nature (Galatians 5:19-21).
Anger is 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.
[Jesus] will save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21, NKJV)
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12, NKJV)
A simple step that gives you the strength to “stop” angry responses is to invite Jesus to come into your life. 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. The best you can do is to manage your anger. Only God can help you to “stop” because anger is sin. Therefore, humans need a Savior who will cleanse us of our sins.
It is not inevitable that we must spend the rest of our lives struggling with anger. Anger 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, NKJV)
He will cleanse the anger out of our hearts. Anger is not good. Anger interferes with my thinking process. It is bad. It is destructive. It is sin.
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:
Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23, NKJV)
You will still have problems, face injustices and difficult people just as everyone does. You will still need to be energized, alerted, and motivated to correct what needs correcting. But God knows that a person energized by the Holy Spirit with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control has the strength to conquer bitterness, sarcastic words, anxiety, bodily tensions, or violent behavior that formerly characterized him.
The apostle Paul says it best:
Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16, NKJV)
A Christian does not always surrender to God perfectly, anymore than he can manage himself perfectly. Few people make it through any given day perfectly. But you can catch anger at the earliest possible point. When you realize you have sinned, take it to God.
As the apostle John says,
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation [the one who paid our debt with his life] for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (1 John 2:1-2, NKJV)