Love does not easily get angery. Literaly the greek says love does not provoke itself. Love does not rile itself up. In the greek anger is not the issue. Because anger is by itself a neutral thing. Anger is not a sin. Even Jesus felt the emotion of anger. The Gospel reading today told how his anger burned against the phraisees that had no compassion of the man with the deformed hand. The Bible says,
He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored” – Mark 3:5
We know that Jesus was without sin. Anger is not a sin. However, what we do with our anger is the issue. This is why Paul writes in Eph. 4:26 “In your anger do not sin”. There are times that we have every right to be angery. We should be angry when a person takes the name of our God in vain. We should be angry when a person proclaims themself to be a Christian yet leds people away in selfserving false doctrine. We should be angry when justice is ignored. However, we also face the challenge of not giving our anger too much power in our lives. For when that happens we sin.
Anger is not a sin, but hatred. Hatred is anger turned out on another person. Anger fed by self interest is a sin. Anger that controls and manipulates us is a sin. This is why james writes, James 1:20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
Paul is telling us in the statement of love that love does not feed anger. It does not rile itself up. It does not set out to feed anger. We provoke anger or allow ourselves to get riled when we do not share our hurts. Instead of being honest about our anger or about our hurt, we hold it in. We mull it over and over, like a cow chewen cud. The more we think about it, the more we run the replays in our mind the more angry we get. The more angry we get, the more we think about the injustices that were done in our lives, the more we become convined that we were terribly wronged the more our anger burns. It is like a self feeding fire. It just burns and burns. We burn with anger.
The writer of Proverbs writes, “Prov. 29:11 A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” Paul writes, Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
It is as if we are faced with two impossible choices. Hold the anger in and hurt ourselves, or let the anger out and hurt others. Many try to balance the two. They attempt unsuccessfully to let enough anger out so as not to explode emotionally, while at the same time not let out so much that others are getting hurt. This kind of balancing act is a quick trip to
We do not have to settle between these two choices. Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life and have it to the full. This full life also means victory over the power of anger. John writes, “Greater is he that is in you that he that is in the world. God is greater. He is greater than our greatest hurts. He is greater than our deepest anger. He is greater than our most dark fears. God is greater. The greatesness of God is seen if his power that Changed us.
We are not like we use to be. We are not lik many in the world. We are different because God has touched our lives through Jesus Christ. That makes us different. Jesus willingly gave up his life of the cross. Sacrificed himself that sin might be defeat. Through his sacrfice and victory sin no longer has power over us. We are not its puppets, we are not its minions, we are victors in Christ. He has made us new and different.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!- 2 Cor. 5:17
It is because of his newness and the differentness in our lives that we are able to overcome the rock and the hard place trap with anger. We are masters of all and masterd by none. God’s Word guides us to live out the truths of his Word. The abundant life is found in our new life in Christ. It is experenced each day as we put God’s Word into practice. We are given Biblical truths to deal with anger.
Seek The Truth
We deal with anger in a God pleasing manner when we first seek the truth. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. ”
He was talking about the truh of salvation through faith in Him. However, the path to freedom and victory always begins with truth. It begins with the truth of what jesus has done for us. It also begins with our search for the truth as to why we are hurt and about the situations that hurt us. James puts it best when he writes, Each of you should be quick to listen slow to speak and slow to get angy. We are challenged to seek and listen to the truth. Often anger is founded in our false perceptions about what others do or have not done. I cannot count the number o times couples have come for counseling with both partners making the same charge, “Im doing everyting around the house, He or she is not doing anything.” As we seek the truth, often we find both partners are working hard, the other one just doesn’t see the other’s efforst.
Jesus tells us the first step in conflict resolution is to go to the brother or sister that has wronged us and show him the truth.
Speak The Truth
The second biblical principle of dealing with anger is to speak the truth. Once we gained an understanding of the truth, then we can speak the truth.We can speak the truth of the anger or hurt inside. Not blaming the other. Not calling the other names. Not tearing down the other’s character or family background. But simply sharing the pain and voicing the problem. Again Jesus says in Luke 17, If your brother sins against you, show him his fault.
Paul writes, “Speak the truth in love.” As we speak the truth, we resolve the anger inside and bring healing to the relationship. Eph. 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
Trust In God
The Third Biblical principle is Trust in God. Trust in God to do what we cannot do.
Eph. 6:14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,