Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The Weeds of Anger

Chapter 16 of Jerry Bridges book Respectable Sins is entitled “The Weeds of Anger”.  He says, “We tend to think of our anger in terms of episodes. We get angry, and then we get over it…The relationship has been scarred but not broken. It’s not a great way to live with one another, but it’s tolerable.  Anger is a sin.  In Scripture anger is associated with such ugly sins as bitterness, clamor, wrath, slander, malice, and obscene talk. It is also included in a similar list of despicable sins in 2 Corinthians 12:20. Clearly, anger does not keep good company.

In the long run, anger does irreparable harm to relationships.  In reality most of us get our buttons pushed by something or someone at one time or another.  Invariably our response when accused of being angry is to be defensive. “Well if you would… I wouldn’t”; “you never…and that’s why…”  We love to blame our anger on the fact that we were short changed in childhood;  that we were misunderstood by our teachers; that our siblings took advantage of us; that our boss is a jerk, the kids are too noisy, etc.

This is not to discount some horrific things that have happened to some people in the past.  However we have a choice, in fact anger is a choice.  No one makes us angry, we chose to get angry.

Here are some of Bridges thoughts on dealing with anger. 

Let me give three basic directions (for dealing with your anger). First, we must always look to the sovereignty of God. God doesn’t cause people to sin against us, but He does allow it, and it is always allowed for a purpose — most often our own growth in Christlikeness.

Second, we should pray that God will enable us to grow in love.  God is love and He is the source of our ability to love.  If you are truly a born again Christian you have received the Fruit of the Spirit which includes love.

The third direction is to learn to forgive as God has forgiven.  I suspect that much of our anger is not a result of significant injustices or wrongs against us but is the manifestation of our own pride and selfishness.

 

 

 

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