God chose us not to be like robots but like him, experiencing
emotion--emotional beings by his design. You see, we can express
emotion and feelings of love toward God. But emotion can also
be a vehicle for the enemy. God wants us to control our emotions.
He doesn't want our emotions to dictate our actions but he wants
his Word to dictate our actions. Ephesians 4:25-32; 5:1-7. "Therefore
each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his
neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 'In your anger
do not sin' [Psalm 4:4]: Do not let the sun go down while you
are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He
who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing
something useful with his own hands, that he may have something
to share with those in need.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only
what is helpful for building others up according to their needs,
that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy
Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get
rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along
with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one
another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live
a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for
us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you
there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any
kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for
God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk
or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such
a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ
and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because
of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
Therefore do not be partners with them."
Put off the old man and put on the new man and his nature. The
new man has a new mind, a new tongue, and as we'll study this
week, a new attitude. Verses 26-27,"In your anger do not sin:
Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not
give the devil a foothold." Anger itself is not a sin, but
this emotion can lead to sin. Righteous anger is an anger against
sin. But uncontrolled, selfish anger leads to sin. Generally we
find ourselves angry because we didn't get something we wanted.
Sometimes anger can be the result of someone else getting something
we wanted. But the main area we get angry in is when we get hurt--hurt
by someone else. This kind of anger should be shut off very quickly
by the Holy Spirit in us, or else we're headed for trouble. [Refer
to Nan Missler's four step process for giving Jesus our hurts & offenses
that others have caused us.] Proverbs 15:1,18. "A soft answer
turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger "(18)"A
wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays
contention." 16:32. "He who is slow to anger is better than the
mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." 19:11. "The
descretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and it is to his
glory to overlook a transgression." 27:4. "Wrath is cruel and
anger arrogant, but who is able to stand before jealousy?" 14:29. "He
who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive
exalts folly." Do you get angry when you're hurt or do you pray?
An old Latin proverb says, "He who goes to bed angry goes to bed
with the devil." Don't go to bed with the enemy. Anger is an emotion
God has given to us. But he warns us to use it properly. Horace
calls anger momentary insanity. Uncontrolled anger makes us irrational.
Paul's answer to anger is found in Romans 12:14-21. "Bless those
who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those
who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with
one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with
people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay evil
for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace
with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room
for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will
repay," [Deut. 32:35] On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry,
feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing
this, you will heap burning coals on his head." [Prov. 25:21-22]
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." What
Paul is saying here is that when you respond to non-Christian
abuse and hurting with love, it is a powerful witness. But on
the other hand, uncontrolled anger can divide families, destroying
and tearing them apart. The reality of life is that we will often
unintentionally hurt each other. Satan grabs these opportunities
and uses them against us if we're not watchful and deal with our
hurts and angers properly right away. Satan hates God and God's
people. When he finds a spark of anger in a Christian he fans
it until it flames up. Anger that broods over into the next day
turns into bitterness. Avoid bitterness like the plague. Ephesians
4:31-32. "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling
and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate
to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave
you." Bitterness defiles you and blinds you from seeing God.
If you know someone who is bitter, pray for them. God allows others
into our lives, giving us hard times. These will either make us better
or bitter. But we have a choice in the matter because of and
through the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. [Nan Missler's
books Way of Agape and Be Ye Transformed are all
about how we can do this in our Christian lives.]
Exodus 15:22-26. "Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they
went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in
the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they
could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why
the place is called Marah.) So the people grumbled against Moses,
saying, 'What are we to drink?' Then Moses cried out to the Lord,
and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the
water, and the water became sweet. There the Lord made a decree
and a law for them, and there he tested them. He said, 'If you
listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what
is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and
keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases
I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you." This
occurred just after their great deliverance from the Egyptian
army by the parting of the Red Sea. They got angry. Have you come
to bitter waters in your life? God has done it to make you better,
not bitter. God can make those bitter waters sweet.
God brought bitterness into the life of Naomi, mother-in-law of
Ruth. Look how it turned out, and to what purpose. Ruth 1:3-18;
4:13-17. "Now Elimelech, Noami's husband, died, and she was left
with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah
and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years,
both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her
two sons and her husband. When she heard in Moab that the Lord
had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them,
Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there.
With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had
been living and set out on the road that would take them back
to the land of Judah.
Then Noami said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back, each of
you, to your mother's home. May the Lord show kindness to you,
as you have shown to your dead and to me. May the Lord grant that
each of you will find rest in the home of another husband." Then
she kissed them and they wept aloud and said to her,
"We will go back with you to your people." But Naomi said, "Return
home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to
have any more sons, who could become your husbands? Return home,
my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I
thought there was still hope for me--even if I had a husband tonight
and then gave birth to sons--would you wait until they grew up?
Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more
bitter for me than for you, because the Lord's hand has gone out
At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by,
but Ruth clung to her. "Look," said Noami, "your sister-in-law
is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her."
But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back
from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.
Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die
I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with
me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you
and me." When Noami realized that Ruth was determined to go with
her, she stopped urging her."
God brought Noami through some bitter times. God took these difficult
times and turned them sweet. Noami brought home to Judah the Great
Grandmother of king David. Ruth 4:13-17. "So Boaz took Ruth and
she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the Lord enabled
her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to
Naomi: "Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without
a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He
will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your
daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven
sons, has given him birth."
Then Noami took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him.
The women living there said, "Naomi has a son." And they named
him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David."
Learning how to forgive and forget is the key to a happy Christian
life. What God desires is verse 32 of Ephesians 4. "Be kind and
compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in
Christ God forgave you." Love covers a multitude of sins. If we
do this with anger--putting it aside--Isaiah 58:9-12 will become
a part of our lives. "Then you will call, and the Lord will answer
you will cry for help, and he will say; Here I am. If you do away
with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious
talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and
satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise
in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in
a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be
like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the
age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of the Broken
Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings."
[Refer to the link "Battling Temptations, Trials" which links
to Nan Missler's section at this link. Read her chapter on putting
away anger and hatreds.]