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Archive for the ‘anger’ Category

John Calvin:

If there is no more effective remedy for anger and impatience, he has surely benefited greatly who has so learned to meditate upon God’s providence that he can always recall his mind to this point: the Lord has willed it; therefore it must be borne, not only because one may not contend against it, but also because he wills nothing but what is just and expedient.

To sum this up: when we are unjustly wounded by men, let us overlook their wickedness (which would but worsen our pain and sharpen our minds to revenge), remember to mount up to God, and learn to believe for certain that whatever our enemy has wickedly committed against us was permitted and sent by God’s just dispensation. (Institutes 1.17.8)

Kevin DeYoung comments

As you read over the quotation about patience, remember that it applies to parenting too, as we can often be “unjustly wounded” by our children.

It may also help to remember that Calvin struggled with outbursts of anger his whole life.

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Phil Ryken (adapted from Loving the Way Jesus Loves):

“Most of us tend to think of irritability as a natural response to life’s little frustrations. We also tend not to worry too much about our irritability, although some Christians may perhaps be wise enough to make it a matter for prayer. When was the last time you asked the Lord to help you respond graciously to that special person who always annoys you?

We should take our irritability much more seriously, because it is the very opposite of love. We know this because 1 Corinthians 13:5 says that love “is not irritable.” Irritability is the antithesis of charity. It is not merely a way of complaining, therefore, but actually a way of hating.

Ryken uses Mark 6:30-44 to show how Jesus dealt with a situation that irritated the disciples. Understanding the anatomy of irritability can help us battle it.

Please click here to read more from Ryken about who gets irritated, when we tend to get irritated and how we treat people when we are irritated!  Very practical stuff!

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A prayer about anger

Once again Scotty Smith has written a prayer that deals with a problem so many wish they could get a handle on: anger.  His prayer is about “owning, understanding and stewarding our anger.”  Here’s how it goes:

Dear Lord Jesus, anger, sinning, devilish activity and footholds, I’m way too familiar with all four. I can think of certain door-to-door salespeople I wish I’d never given a “foothold” across the threshold of my front door. One minute into feigned niceness and well crafted “pitch,” and I’m ready to usher them on their way. Oh, that I’d be that wise when the devil approaches my heart and home.

Of course, if the dark one knocked on my front door in a red jumpsuit with a three-pronged pitchfork in hand, I’d have no problem turning him away. Unfortunately, he usually creeps in from the basement of tiredness and self-righteousness, or the back door of pent-up irritation and resentment. I can’t and won’t blame my anger on him. He’s the parasitic pariah who exploits anger for his evil machinations.

Jesus, help me understand and steward the emotion of anger. It’s always been a confusing feeling to me—one causing fear, shame and ambivalence. In this Scripture, you’re not telling us never to be angry, but to be careful not to sin when we do feel angry. Grant me big grace for this one, Lord.

I’ve been on the receiving end of destructive anger and demonic rage, and I don’t wish such a crushing of the spirit or implosion of the heart on anyone.  Though I’m not typically loud and large with my anger, I certainly own and grieve the ways my anger has brought just as much hurt to people I love. A slow radioactive leak of fury can be just as damaging, in time, as a fury bomb.

Jesus, help me be angry at the right time, for the right reasons, in the right way. Give me a holy passion for justice. Help me become a courageous warrior of the heart and advocate for the marginalized and oppressed. Help me turn over tables to your glory, and not merely throw tantrums for my pouting.

Melt the icebergs of tension and stress in my heart and body. Change my rigidity into playfulness. Redirect the energy I waste trying to feed and keep my control idol propped up. Slay the beast in me that assumes the right not to be interrupted or inconvenienced. May I be much more committed to pre-sunset resolves and reconciliations, than giving my anger a warm bottle tucking it in for a good night’s sleep.

Right now, Lord Jesus, I throw open every door and window of my heart. Come in and establish multiple footholds of mercy, grace, and compassion. I abandon myself to your beauty and bounty today. So very Amen I pray in your peerless and priceless name.

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The angry person is the last to know

This is one article by Ed Welch we should all read

“The problem with anger is that those who don’t have the problem take it to heart; those who are angry are confident in their right-ness and over time can become massively, utterly, completely deluded, blind and (this is no exaggeration) can feel quite good about themselves after bludgeoning someone close them, as if they have set the world aright. Arrgghh. I hate anger.”

. . . .If you believe you have a problem with anger, if you have confessed that to others, and if you have a ruthless agenda for putting this monster to death, then you are in the advanced course of sanctification and please feel free to teach the rest of us. For the rest of us, here are a few questions:

  1. Do you stretch and enlarge the category of anger so it includes you? I know a man who doesn’t think he is angry even though every hour or so he threatens to rip off someone’s head. His narrow definition of anger? An angry person actually rips off someone’s head. Since he only wants to rip off someone’s head, he isn’t angry.
  2. Have you enlarged the spectrum of your anger by filling in some of the details from the Sermon on the Mount? (Matthew 5:21-22) For example, at one extreme is murder, at the other is our internal muttering, “what a jerk.” What’s in between? Of course, everything on this spectrum is murderous.
  3. In the last six months have you confessed your sin of anger, to both God and the injured person?
  4. In the last six months have you asked those closest to you, “When have you seen me angry in the last few weeks?” When will you ask them? Is the real cause of your frustration/anger usually something or someone other than you? Do you understand the real cause is not “THEM” and is really “I WANT and I’m not getting what I want”? (James 4:1-10)
  5. Do you know that Jesus was never angry because of something done to him? Do you care?
  6. Are you ever wrong? Angry people, against all the odds, are nearly always right.
  7. “Do you have a right to be angry?” This is God’s patient question to Jonah.

Keep reading.

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Great post by Terry Enns on anger.  Re-posting in full:

Human anger is almost always portrayed in Scripture to be something unwise, foolish and ungodly.  And even when men exhibit genuinely righteous anger, it is always prone to degrading into ungodly, unrighteous anger.  A few observations about anger from Scripture:

  1. Anger, like every sin, is the result of allowing the flesh to rule one’s mind and heart and refusing to use restraint and self-control (Js. 1:14).
  2. Anger is in part the result of not listening — and not being willing to listen (Js. 1:18).
  3. Anger is in part the result of talking too quickly — not taking time to reflect on what has been heard before responding (Js. 1:18).
  4. Anger can be controlled by being humble in response to the conviction of the Scriptures; ultimately, all anger is against God and His providence in our lives (Js. 1:21).
  5. Uncontrolled anger is a result of being unwilling to deal with the sin fully and immediately (Eph. 4:26).
  6. Anger is a God-given emotion used for Satan’s purposes (Eph. 4:27).
  7. Anger is closely related to bitterness, wrath, slander, revenge and malice (Eph. 4:31).
  8. Anger may stem from refusing to forgive others or failing to accept the forgiveness of Christ (Eph. 4:31-32).
  9. Being angry is a demonstration that either the person has never fully grasped the significance of all that Christ did for him at the cross, or that he has become so hardened that he knows what Christ did, and willingly sins anyway (Eph. 4:32).
  10. Anger is progressive in nature.  It seems to go something like this (based upon the use of the different words used for anger in Scripture):
  • There is a refusal to listen to another person because of some offense or perceived offense
  • This refusal is followed by a quick response or retort without pausing to consider the effect of those words
  • A number of quick, heated words accumulate without seeking forgiveness
  • A grudge begins to settle in one’s heart, so he is frequently angry about a variety of circumstances without provocation
  • The sudden anger may disappear, but a sullen state of bitterness is present
  • The “satisfaction” of the momentary outburst is replaced by a quest for revenge
  • The revenge is driven from a heart of real malice — desire for deep, complete, retribution, that may even desire the death of another

The results of this anger are hardly happy:

  1. One who is perpetually angry is one who has allowed Satan to gain an advantage over him with the result that his testimony will be destroyed (Eph. 4:27).
  2. The one who is angry cannot claim to exhibit God’s righteousness (Js. 1:20).
  3. Anger, like every uncontrolled sin that is allowed to rule one’s life will ultimately result in spiritual failure and death (Js. 1:15).

So it is that the wise man is the one who is intentional and aggressive in putting off anger and putting on the righteous thinking and resolution of anger and  conflict that are found through Jesus Christ (more on that next week).

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Disarming an angry person

As usual, Ed Welch provides loving, wise, biblical counsel on a very common issue:  anger.  If you or someone you love struggles with anger,  then read, digest, and pray for biblical wisdom in applying these truths.  Read the whole article.  But here is the summary strategy:

  1. Don’t minimize the destruction of anger. You are getting shot at! Of course it hurts.
  2. You are setting out to learn a disarming strategy that takes humility and love, and this is way over your head. As such, “Lord have mercy on me” is the order of the day.
  3. Remember that angry people are blind to their own anger. They are the last to know that they are killing people. Instead, all they see is that they are right and others are wrong. Assume that they are spiritual lunatics.
  4. Divest yourself of all the things you desire and cherish for yourself. Do you want love? Toss it and keep only the necessities, such as the desire to love. Do you need respect and understanding? It will only be an encumbrance. Get rid of it.
  5. Move toward the angry person in love and humility. Fear runs away, anger attacks. Humility and love move toward. In a surprise attack they blindside angry people with weakness. Your timing will be important. Sometimes you can say something while the gun is aimed. Other times you will wait and speak later.
  6. The person’s anger could have many reasons – you being one. But murderous anger is always wrong. At some point, from your place of love and humility, you will hold up the mirror and help angry people see themselves (Matthew 7:5).

(HT: JT)

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Be slow like God!

JT explains:

God is:

Exodus 34:6
“The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.'”

Numbers 14:18
“The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

Nehemiah 9:17
“You are a God ready to forgive,gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.”

Psalm 86:15
“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”

Psalm 103:8, Psalm 145:8
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”

Psalm 145:8
“The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”

Joel 2:13
“Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.”

Jonah 4:2
“That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.”

Nahum 1:3
“The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”

Therefore:Proverbs 14:29
“Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.”

Proverbs 15:18
“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.”

Proverbs 16:32
“Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”

Proverbs 19:11
“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”

James 1:19
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”

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