Friday, December 19, 2008

Overcoming Anger, Part 3

Last week we were still looking at how to overcome anger. As we mentioned, anger in and of itself is not sin. However, uncontrolled anger is and it can result in other sins as well. We have already looked at the resulting sins of retaliation, cursing, slander and gossip. Today I want to encourage those of you who are struggling with these sins that you must learn to let your anger go.

The Bible says in Ephesians 4:26-27 “Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.” The encouragement here given by the Apostle Paul is that you must never allow the sun to go down on your anger. In other words, don’t take it to bed no matter how upset you are with each other. My wife and I don’t always agree on everything. I’m sure that many of you can identify with that. However, when it’s time to turn in for the evening, we always express our love for each other. It may be through gritted teeth, but it does happen. Why? First of all, it shows that our love is bigger than any argument that we could ever have. Second, the Bible tells us to do so. Otherwise, we would be giving place to the Devil in that area of our lives. If we are not careful, we will allow that anger to turn into bitterness. Bitterness is destructive to you and everyone around you. I believe that’s why the writer of Hebrews warns and encourages us when he says, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.” Yes, allowing anger to seethe into our spirits causes defilement. Defilement is “to make foul, dirty, or unclean; pollute; taint or debase. None of those are good by the way!

Some will say, “I have a short fuse and I can’t help myself.” That is an excuse for a lack of self-control. The writer of Proverbs 14:16-17 says, “A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless. A quick-tempered (short fused) man acts foolishly, And a man of evil devices is hated.”

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