"Do You Struggle with Sinful Anger?"

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Dear child of God, I trust that we all would agree that living in a sinfully-fallen world is not always a happy experience (Romans 5:12; Galatians 5:16-17). If we are honest, we will have to admit that our normal lives each day are marked and sometimes dominated by unhappy times (Matthew 6:34; John 16:33).

However, we should understand from Scripture that such times are Sovereignly-intended by our God to remind us that this present world is not our true home (John 14:1-4; Ephesians 1:11; Proverbs 16:4; Revelation 22:3-4). Specifically, we ought to know that these times of spiritual, domestic, and practical conflict typically result from the heat of a pursuing devil (1 Peter 5:8), the pressure of a seducing world (1 John 2:15-17), and the weakness of our own flesh (Matthew 26:41). Therefore, our own weak flesh must not be treated lightly. In fact, we must put to death its deeds each day (Romans 8:13)! If we do not, then sadly, these sinful deeds will become the frequent and dominant feature of our lives (Galatians 5:18-26). Now, one of the most common of those evil deeds in the professing Christian community and in their families is sinful anger. The Christian must view his sinful anger as wretched and intolerable conduct in God’s eyes and therefore inexcusable in his life. It’s a practical mark of godlessness that must be personally confronted and passionately controlled.  That begins when both you and I admit that we excuse away far too easily our angry hearts. Let’s face it, when we become angry and blow-up (ventilation), or clam-up (internalization), no justification for such sin can be found in our Bibles. Please don’t allow the modern-day proponents of psycho-babble to trap you into justifying this heinous sin before our Holy God! What we need is not medication but repentance! Further, we need to live with our spouses, children, brethren, and this world with a repentant, Holy Spirit-controlled attitude (Ephesians 5:18). Deliberate steps in this direction begin with understanding that anger, at its root, results from us not getting our own way (Note:  the sin of pride is of Satanic origin – Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28). But the Christian is to live as if he has no rights - for he’s a bond-slave of Christ (Romans 6:18-19, 22). Dear friends, we must learn to hate even the residue of sinful anger in our lives! Are you ever sickened by your angry heart? Do you blame-shift away your anger? God says, deal with your anger! James 1:19 says, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be… slow to anger” (1:19). Only righteous anger is sanctioned by God in Ephesians 4:26: “Be angry and do not sin.”  But in the same verse, sinful anger is called to immediate repentance: “do not let the sun go down on your anger.” If we deal seriously with this sin in our lives we prove ourselves to be “imitators of God” (Ephesians 5:1), who Himself controls His righteous anger from Heaven and while He walked on this earth (Psalm 7:11; Mark 3:5). Oh, for a cool spirit to be in us at all times (Proverbs 17:27)! I leave you with the following words of wisdom from the pen of Philip Henry (1631-1696): “It is a great duty of all Christians to put off anger. It unfits for duty… a man cannot wrestle with God and wrangle with his neighbor at the same time. Short sins often cost us long and sad sorrows.” O Jesus, send thy Holy Spirit to both convict us of this sin, and to cause humble repentance from it!

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