Friday, November 14, 2014


Anger Assessment

1.     In the past month, I’ve spoken or acted in anger in a way that I immediately regretted.
___ mostly true  ___mostly false

2.     If I’m in a situation where I feel I was wronged, I am most likely to go to someone other than the person who offended me to vent my frustrations.
___ mostly true  ___mostly false

3.     I sometimes use sarcasm to make my point.
___ mostly true  ___mostly false

4.     When I see people or creation mistreated, I get angry and want to do something to make things right.
___ mostly true  ___mostly false

5.     I have taken my anger out on an undeserving person.
 ___ mostly true  ___mostly false

6.     In the past month, I have screamed, hit something, or thrown something in anger.
___ mostly true  ___mostly false

7.     When something makes me angry, I tend to replay it in my mind repeatedly.
___ mostly true  ___mostly false

8.     It’s hard for me to express myself to a person who has made me angry.
___ mostly true  ___mostly false

9.     I have taken specific action to combat injustice in this world.
___ mostly true  ___mostly false

10.                        I have a cause (e.g., slavery, orphans, famine) that I have educated myself about and financially contribute to.
___ mostly true  ___mostly false

11.                         I’m more likely to bear a grudge than to have an outright conflict with someone who has wronged me.
___ mostly true  ___mostly false


ANGER is a strong emotional reaction of displeasure with the desire to DO something in response to these feelings.

It is an advanced stage of frustration, that uncontrolled by the power of God, can lead to violent outbursts and destructive conduct. It can also lead to plans for revenge or punishment. 

What causes anger?

There are various reasons anger can surface – Stress, being disrespected, feeling misunderstood, hearing someone question your character, feeling out of control, wanting something to go your way and it didn’t, frustration, being Self-focused due to physical or emotional pain, financial issues, abuse, relationship issues, injustices, feeling threatened, rejection, abandonment, disappointment, and overwhelming requirements on your time and energy.

Is anger sinful?

Not ALL anger is sinful, rather the WAY in which we channel it determines if it is sinful. Anger is a God-given emotion that has the power to CHANGE’ lives (better/worse). It can either motivate us to reflect the “heart” of God, producing righteous fruit & edifying God’s kingdom; or it can reflect the “heart” of Satan motivating us to execute our own selfish will, while bearing the fruit of bitterness and destruction


+ Righteous Anger
God expresses this type of anger every day.

“God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day”
– Psalm 7:11

14 times in the Old Testament, God himself is called “angry.”

Indignation: Righteous anger” or “holy anger” is always expressed due to ungodly people or activities. It is motivated by injustice, oppression, or an unholy situation.
o   Every time Scripture describes Jesus as being angry, it was for a real evil that kept people from experiencing God’s Kingdom.
o   Jesus got angry at his disciples because they were blocking children from getting close to him (Mark 10:13-14).

o   Jesus angrily rebuked the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and unmerciful interpretations of God’s laws (Matt. 23:13-33; Mark 3:2-5).
His indignation at their misuse of the temple led Him to turn over their tables and chase them from His Father’s house (Matt. 21:13-14).
o   The Lord became angry with the Israelites for marrying foreign women. He knew that their wives would introduce the worship of pagan gods.
o   Nehemiah got angry after learning about the wealthy Israelites’ exploitation of the poor: "Then I was very angry when I had heard … these words" (Nehemiah 5:6).
You and I can have righteous anger:  When we become upset over the mistreatment of others or when we feel compelled to rectify an unholy situation; however, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that most our anger has to do with ourselves. Our impatience. Our agenda. Our control. Our idea of how things should go.

The FRUIT of righteous anger is sweet and contributes to positive changes within our homes, our communities, and even in the world.

§  I.e. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) – A women lost her 13 yr. old daughter to a drunk driver – banded together with other grieving mothers to DO something about the outrage of drinking & driving.
o   She used her grief & anger to create a + positive change.

Indignation creates words and actions that can heal. It can lead to a ‘loving confrontation’ for the purposes of building others up. It leads to a
1 Corinthians 13 love. It’s passionate, it perseveres, hopes, and never fails. In the hands of the Master, this righteous anger can be a force for love and for good in a world stained and broken by evil.

The bible actually commands us to have “holy anger” in
Ephesians 4:25-26… but it also warns us to SIN not.

I.e. (Angry at spouse at bedtime)
This is what it looks like when you let the sun go down on your anger…

Don’t give the devil
A foothold!!

Unrighteous Anger
First documented case of human anger is back in Genesis:

Genesis 4:5, “But God didn’t approve of Cain and his offering. So Cain became very angry and was disappointed...

How did God respond?

Then the Lord asked Cain, Why are you angry, and why do you look disappointed? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? But if you don’t do well, sin is lying outside your door ready to attack. It wants to control you, but you MUST master it.”

The LORD emphasizes the ‘WHY’ in Cain’s anger, not because He doesn’t know why Cain is angry, but I think He was trying to make a point to us, that it’s not the anger that’s sinful, rather the motive behind it and the ‘WAY’ we channel it.

Why do WE get angry? Is it for the injustices of others, or is it for our own self-interest? Are we allowing anger to MASTER us?

In Cain’s case, his anger eventually 
mastered him, leading to the murder of
his brother (Genesis 4:8).

Ø Cain’s anger reflected an evil and destructive behavior.

Ø If not controlled, anger can sometimes cause us to get even with someone.

God says in Romans 12:19, "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,’ says the Lord."

Power of Anger:

We looked at how anger has the power to change lives in a positive way - Let’s look at an example of how anger powerfully ‘CHANGED’ this man’s life in a negative way.

I.e. Joseph Stalin (Leader of the Soviet Union before/after WWII) – Grew
up a peasant and lived in a one room apt. with his family. All 3 siblings died to TB, he was the only survivor. His father would come home in a drunken rage and viciously beat him. At the age of 7, he severely wounded his left arm, leaving it limp, and shorter for the rest of his life. His mother had hoped he would someday be an Orthodox priest, but his anger steered him to a much darker destiny. It compelled him to never be the victim again. Instead of loathing violence, he embraced it… becoming one the most ruthless, mass murders of his time (next to Hitler).

Anger molded the man he would be, and like a drop in the water, it rippled throughout history, affecting millions and millions of people (negatively).
Unrighteous anger
Generally takes one of two forms

1.  “Powder keg anger” 
Aka RAGE: A powerful, explosive, uncontrolled expression of anger.
§  Anyone in its path, such as a spouse, is usually taken by surprise.
§  If you answered mostly true to 1, 5, 6, on your assessment, you used this as an outlet.

When anger is vented this way, it can be very dangerous, destructive, and hurtful. In some cases, it may lead to verbal & physical abuse. We use our God-given emotion not to edify, rather to destroy. We use words that wound and we physically lash out, usually to those we love the most. When we vent our anger in ungodly ways, we bear the fruit of bitterness.

The Bible says this sudden angeris to be controlled. The writer of Proverbs connects anger with foolishness:

§  Proverbs 14:17 - "A quick-tempered man does foolish things."
§  Proverbs 12:16 - “Fools quickly show they are upset, but the wise ignore insults".
If we have a short fuse, we’re going to do a lot of foolish things.

Ø I.e. BOOK - Mother throwing spices across the kitchen in a fit of rage because daughter put it back in the wrong spot.
Ø I.e. BOOK - Mother screaming in an outburst of anger at daughter because she lost something new.
Ø I.e. BOOK She kicked the trash can so hard it dented the metal, which stands as a memorial to the damage that anger can wreak on a household.

Will Rogers said,
"Whenever you fly into a RAGE,
You seldom make a safe landing."

Effects of Anger:

Proverbs 19:19 says, "A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty."
§  Health: Anger has lasting effects on our lives if we don't deal with it properly.
The physical effects of anger are both immediate and long-term.  
o  Like fear, anger triggers the same physiological “fight or flight” response, leading to a plethora of health problems (if consistent). Doctors tell us that losing our temper consistently brings about high blood pressure, dryness of mouth, & a fast-beating heart. It could even bring pre-mature death. 
o  Depression can be chemical, but most often it's the result of unresolved conflict in a person's heart.
o   It's devastating to the body to carry an unforgiving spirit.

§  Relationships: A hot temper could also mean loss of family & friends.
o   Unforgiveness divides people – friendships, churches, etc. Anger always leaves a trail of hurt feelings & unhappiness behind you.

When we lose our cool, we’ll say and do things that we end up regretting.

*POWER OF SPEECH - paper exercise 

Does anger control your tongue?

Luke 6:45, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

What flows out of you when you’re angry?
One reason anger is so deadly is because of the way it controls our speech.
James 3:4 says, “Consider ships: Although they are very large and driven by fierce winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire.” James reminds us that a small object, such as the tongue, can have great force behind it.
Proerbs 18:21 says, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”
Think of the power of words: The universe was created with a word; Jesus healed and cast out demons with a word; rulers have risen and fallen by their words; Christians have worshiped through words of song, confession, and preaching. Since the tongue is such a powerful force-for good or evil-we are wise to ask: What would homes, churches, schools, work-place, relationships look like if we used words with Christian intentionality and love
Anger demonstrates the opposite of love, and love should be the defining
characteristic of a Christian. You can’t express love and anger at the same time. Once anger takes root, it chokes out love.
1 Corinthians 13:4–8 tells us Love is patient, love is kind…” It’s important to remain patient during trying times that we may not utter hurtful words.
Love is not easily angered… Love does not insist on its own way…” We should do our best to be imitators of Christ - who is slow to anger.

§  Num. 14:18, “The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion.”

Ephesians 4:30-32 exhorts us to “Get rid of your bitterness, hot tempers, anger, loud quarreling, cursing, and hatred. Be kind to each other, sympathetic, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you through Christ.

I found my sticky note I made on “anger” from when I was struggling with this emotion. I can now see how  faithful God was to walk me through it; helping me to grow in love. When we let go of pride and ask for help, God can move in our hearts and make the necessary repairs.

These were some questions the Holy Spirit put on my heart. 

2.  “Crock pot anger”- Aka Resentment: (Unexpressed anger)

Resentment refers to the mental process of repetitively replaying a feeling, and the events leading up to it, that anger us.
§  Simmers and boils for a long time. You begin to think about all the bad things people do & say to you, all the insults, all of the wrongs (real or imagined).
§  This anger is spiritually, emotionallyand physically crippling, because we can’t grow/walk in love when we are stewing in anger.
§  If not deal with, resentment can soon grow into a bitter root.

I.e. Naomi: She’s one of God’s people. She lives in the great nation of Israel. And a famine hits; a great economic crisis hits their land. And her husband is a foolish man, and he decides that he will relocate his family. And a move is a big thing, in that day, when you’re leaving God’s presence at the temple, and you’re leaving God’s people in Israel.
And he takes his wife and their sons, and relocates to a pagan land. And there, his sons marry godless women, and he dies, and then his sons die, and this woman is left destitute, and absolutely alone. And she has a devastated, difficult life. Her name, Naomi, meant sweet. Her identity was daughter of God, and her life was supposed to be sweet. But things become very dark and difficult for her, and in Ruth 1:20, she makes this statement: “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, because my life has become very bitter.” She changes her name, redefining her identity by her hurt, by her suffering, by her loss. In asking others to call her Mara, she was accepting bitterness as her identity, and the lens through which she would interpret everything that would happen for the rest of her life, because the name Mara literally means “bitter.”

Are you a Mara? In your past, have you had a season of Mara? Are there people that you’re in a relationship with who are Mara? Are there seeds of discontent in your soul that will, eventually, cause you to be in a season of Mara—bitterness?

First Corinthians 13 says, “Love keeps no record of wrongs.” Bitter people keep records of wrongs. They revisit, and rethink, and recollect certain circumstances and situations.

Ø Forgiveness is the shovel that digs up the root of bitterness. Don’t just work on your hurt, or your anger, or your temper. Get to the root!

How many of you, you feel like, “I dealt with that… and then it comes back… and it’s bigger and worse than ever?” You never pulled the root!

·       Passive aggression: (sub-category of crock-pot anger)
Occurs when we're angry about something, but express our negative feelings in indirect or passive ways.
Passive – in the way we say nothing about the ‘actual problem’. And aggressive – in the way that we might do sneaky things against the person – like gossip, avoid them, or hold a grudge against them.

 A Five-fold Test for Anger: (Ask yourself these questions to see if you are harboring unrighteous anger):

  1. Is my anger directed toward another person? Try to identify the individual.
  2. Is it without a justifiable cause? If your anger is selfish, you need to repent, forgive that person, and move on.
  3. Am I seeking vengeance? If you have a desire to “get even,” or harm the other person in some way for a misdeed, you are not operating according to Scripture.
  4. Am I cherishing anger? You might resist surrendering your frustration to the Lord. Maybe on some level, you want to be upset. Unless you release it to God, however, you will be unable to experience the freedom He longs to give you.
  5. Do I have an unforgiving spirit? Perhaps you feel that you simply can’t lay down your anger. But with the Lord’s help, I’m confident you can. 
How do we overcome these emotions?

Deal with anger quickly! We must confess our problem to God & ask for His help. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is gentleness and self-control. God will help us to exercise control over our emotions when we ask for help.

Anger is a choice. No matter what, we must own up and take responsibility for our actions. Things will happen and people will act and speak in ways that bring on anger, that will tempt us to act in anger, but the choice to respond to it is ours.
o   Recalling a situation in which YOU made the same mistake helps you become less angry, more understanding (Proverbs 18:2).

Forgive, just as Christ forgave us. His mercies are new for us every day. We need to emulate His goodness. We didn’t deserve salvation, but by God’s grace and mercy, He forgave and saved us. While suffering a horrible death on the cross, Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Let’s follow His example and graciously forgive anyone who offends us. That way, you and I will be free to enjoy the abundant life God has planned for us.