© 1999 James A. Fowler

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Is it always bad to be mad? Is it ever right to fight?
   "Be angry..." - Eph. 4:26
   "Cease from anger..." - Ps. 37:8; Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8

Anger is referred to by so many other words:
   annoyed, frustrated, on edge, sore, griped, fed-up, irritated, irked, provoked, disgusted, dissatisfied,
   disturbed, distraught, indignant, impatient, exasperated, cross, troubled, upset, mad, bitter, vexed,
   ticked off, uptight, aggravated, excited, envious, resentful, wrought up, hurt, hot under collar,
   lost temper...

Key verse for this study:
   James 1:20 - "the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God."

I. Anger of Man.

The "anger of man" is usually a reaction to non-personal and inter-personal experiences.

   A. Four wrong ways to deal with anger.
      1. Repress. Hold it in, ignore, deny, push it under, stuff it.
         a. Internally. Seethe with bitterness, jealousy, etc.
         b. Externally. The "silent treatment." - Eph. 4:26
      2. Express. "Dump it;" "get it off your chest."
         a. Direct expression. Explode. Blow up.
            Gal. 5:20; Prov. 12:16; Prov. 14:29; Prov. 29:11; Prov. 29:22; Eccl. 7:9
         b. Indirect expression. "I'll get even." - Lev. 19:18; Rom. 12:19
         c. Substitutionary expression. "Ventilation."
      3. Digress. Turn aside. Get your mind off of it.
      4. Profess to be powerless. Make excuses. Disclaim responsibility.
   B. Five correct ways to deal with anger.
      1. Suppress. Restrain; subdue the negative expression.
         Prov. 29:11; Prov. 17:14; Prov. 20:3
      2. Assess. Evaluate the situation objectively.
         a. Consider the other person's perspective.
         b. Consider your contribution to the problem. - Matt. 7:3-5; James 1:19
      3. Confess. "Say the same thing as God." - I John 1:9
      4. Process. Proceed to make it right.
         a. "Turn the other cheek." - Matt. 5:39
         b. Gentle answer. - Prov. 15:1
         c. Meekness. - Eph. 4:2; I Peter 3:15
         d. Forgiveness. - Matt. 18:22; Col. 3:13
         e. Give a blessing. - I Peter 3:9
      5. Access. In computer terminology this means "to connect with," "to communicate with." The
          foregoing behavioral expressions must be a result of the Christian having "accessed" with God.
          I Peter 2:23

II. Anger of God in a man.

Throughout the Scriptures God is referred to as "an angry God."
   Ps. 7:6-11; I Sam. 11:6; Rom. 1:18

   A. Four wrong ways to deal with the anger of God in man.
      1. Repress. Hold in, ignore, refuse to admit, push under.
             When Christians have been taught that ALL anger is sin, they will often repress legitimate
             expressions of God's anger.
             a. Internally. Seethe. "Burns us up."
             b. Externally. Sin of omission.
      2. Express. Emotional outburst, apart from love.
           a. Direct expression. "Rant and rave."
           b. Indirect expression. Revenge and obstructionism.
      3. Digress. Avoid. Escape. Take flight.
           "Maybe it will go away." Maybe it won't!
      4. Profess to be powerless. Disclaim responsibility.
           a. "I'm no reformer." - Exod. 4:10-12
           b. Alleged inability. - II Cor. 3:5; II Cor. 9:8; Phil. 4:13
   B. Five correct ways to deal with anger of God in man.
      1. Suppress. Restrain; subdue improper expression.
           a. Restrain emotional reaction.
               Prov. 14:29; Prov. 15:18; Prov. 16:32; Prov. 19:11; James 1:19
           b. Restrain unloving expressions. - Eph. 4:27; Eph. 4:30
           c. Jesus suppressed wrong expression. - Matt. 26:53
      2. Assess. Evaluate the situation objectively and spiritually.
           a. Do we have godly attitude?
           b. In what manner can I express God's love? - Eph. 4:29
      3. Confess. "Say the same thing as God" about sin.
           Exod. 32:30; Ps. 119:53; John 2:16; Eph. 4:15; Phil. 1:14
      4. Process. Proceed to make it right.
           a. May require being confrontational.
              Matt. 18:15; Matt. 29:18-39; Gal. 2:11-14
           b. Deal with situation and be done with it.
              Ps. 30:5; Eph. 4:26,27
      5. Access. Foregoing expressions must be result of having "accessed" with God, that His grace
          might empower our behavior.
            Luke 22:42; Phil. 2:13; Rom. 14:23



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