Ruling Your Spirit: Anger

2 October 2022 PM – Proverbs 25:28 – RuleSpirit22 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Anger is the commonly justified sin. It was not my fault. I inherited a hot temper. Someone irritated me. Something displeased me. I wasn’t furious; I was just upset. It is just the way I am!
Transition: This evening we are going to see what God has to say about our anger and how to rule it.
  1. Anger Problems are Common
a.         What is anger?
1)         Anger as the strong feeling that you have when something has happened that you think is bad and unfair. Oxford Dictionary It as a strong feeling that makes you want to hurt someone or be unpleasant because of something unfair or unkind that has happened. Cambridge Dictionary
2)         Therefore, we can say that anger is a reaction we may have when we are displeased with someone or something. Sometimes our displeasure is justified, but often it is selfish. Our reaction may be godly (i.e., calmly and biblically address the irritation), but it is often a rash, sinful outburst, loud, harsh, mean, cruel, cutting, provoking, violent, or otherwise ungodly.
3)         Anger, like every sin, has its origin in the heart.
b.         We have all been angry.
1)         Babies may become angry even before they can talk. When their wishes are not met, they may cry in anger.
2)         Children often get angry with their siblings and friends.
3)         Parents get angry with their disobedient children.
4)         Spouses get angry with each other.
5)         Our anger generally erupts because something did not go OUR way.
2.        The Bible has much to Say about Anger
a.         Ephesians 4:26 is a key verse on anger.
1)         (Ephesians 4:26) “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
a)         The verb “be ye angry” is a passive imperative. In other words, we must allow ourselves to be angered.
b)         The phrase “and sin not” commands us not to wander from the path of righteousness while angry.
c)         The rest of the verse commands us not to let the sun go down without ending our provoked feeling. God does not want the feeling of anger to linger. Give the angry irritation to God and then, with His help, address it properly and let it go.
2)         If we see someone flirt with our spouse, we ought to get angry. If our child talks back to us, we ought to get angry. When abortion is justified, we ought to get angry. However, we must not sin. We must control our anger. We must respond in a controlled, biblical way.
b.         The Bible speaks extensively about anger.
1)         Solomon frequently denounced rash anger. Both soon anger and slow anger may be sinful, but slow anger is far less likely to be sinful.
a)          (Proverbs 14:29) “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.
b)         (Proverbs 15:18) “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.
c)         (Proverbs 16:32) “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
d)         (Proverbs 19:11) “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
e)         (Ecclesiastes 7:9) “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.” We ought to hang this proverb in our homes.
f)          (Proverbs 29:8) “Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath.” Yes, it is wise to cause wrath to turn away.
2)         The Lord also instructs us on anger in the New Testament.
a)         To believers: (Colossians 3:8) “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
b)         To parents: (Colossians 3:21) “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
c)         To all: (James 1:19-20) “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
c.          Biblical characteristics of unruled anger
1)         It acts foolishly. (Proverbs 29:20) “Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.Illustration:  Son ask his father, “Daddy, how do wars begin?” Father says, “Well, son, take World War I. It got started when Germany invaded Belgium.” Mother interrupts, “Tell the boy the truth.  It began when somebody was murdered.” Father replies, “Are you answering the question or am I?” Wife walks out of the room, slams the door as hard as she can. After a few minutes of silence, the son finally replies, “Daddy, you don’t have to tell me anymore, I know how wars begin.”
2)         It leads to more sin – hurtful words, profanity, hatred, even murder. (Proverbs 29:22) “An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.
3)         It causes misery for loved ones, (Proverbs 21:19) “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
4)         It provokes children, Colossians 3:21 (above).
5)         It stirs up strife, fighting, Proverbs 15.18 (above)
d.         Biblical characteristics of ruled anger
1)         It is quiet and controlled – not explosive or loud
2)         It is godly – angry with sin, not the sinner
3)         It is unselfish – concerned for right, not for revenge
4)         It is slow and thoughtful – not quick and foolish
5)         It is constructive – seeking biblical resolution
3.        If You Struggle to Rule Anger, Admit it.
a.         Admitting an anger problem is humiliating
1)         A sign of an anger problem is a frequently irritated spirit. Your spirit is easily irritated by things that go wrong or by people who muck up. Quit justifying your irritation.
2)         If you get angry often, you have an anger problem. Do not make excuses or call it by other names. Admit it.
3)         If others accuse you of anger, you need to take a closer look. You may not see your own anger as others see it.
4)         Is God against anger? Then you must say, “If God’s against it, so am I.” As humiliating as it is, if you are an angry person, God wants you to admit it.
b.         Admitting the problem leads to victory
1)         Once we admit that we have an anger problem, God is ready to help us. When you confess it as sin, God will forgive.
a)         (Psalms 86:5) “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
b)         (1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
2)         Unfortunately, others whom our anger has wounded may not be as ready to forgive as God is, but we must seek it with a humble and broken heart.
4.        Seek God’s Help to Rule Your Anger
a.         Give this problem to the Lord daily.
1)         Cast this burden on Him (Ps 55:22).
2)         Ask Him to make you aware when you start to get irritated.
b.         Depend on the Holy Spirit for daily victory
1)         Specifically yield your anger to Him every day.
2)         Walk in harmony with Him so that you can claim His promise. (Galatians 5:16) “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
3)         Seek to become meek and gentle like the Lord.
4)         Meditate on one verse about anger each day.
Conclusion: Ruling an angry spirit is not easy, but God can give victory.
Song: Have Thine Own Way – 388