Anger in its best form is a righteous expression of love. The proper response to a threat to someone we love is anger. The problem is – our love is not always right. We love what we shouldn’t and we love what we should, but with an inordinate love. As a result, much of the anger we experience is not an expression of love for others, but is rather self indulgent and instead brings harm to others. How do we manage that kind of anger?
- Recognize your anger and understand it’s consequences. (15:18, 29:22, 21:9)
- Resist the temptation to vent your anger. (29:11)
- Learn to rule your spirit. (16:32)
- Dig deep to see the roots of your anger. (20:5)
- Avoid habitually angry people. (22:24-25)
- Let the soft word of the gospel soothe your anger, hurt and shame.
A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
A soft word turns away wrath. It soothes anger and brings peace. There is no softer word than the gospel of Jesus, who endured the righteous anger of God in our place. For all of the times we have unrighteously acted in anger and hurt the people around us, Christ paid a penalty in our place. Because of that act, God is able to look at you and I and put to death our sinful anger without hurting us. He is able to deal with the sin he hates while rescuing the people he loves.
Through the gospel we are free to confess our anger issues, apologize to those we have hurt and take steps to grow into the character of Christ.
Tom Brown is the planting pastor of Vintage Faith Church in Wichita. Tom and his wife, Mandy, have worked together in ministry for 18 years and have four children. More about Pastor Tom Brown