Are any of you noticing an increase in the amount and level of anger in your environment?
James 4:1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously"? 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." NKJV
Not considering myself an authority on anger but one who has studied its destructive force and the damage it inflicts on generations of families. I have seen the unhealed anger in fathers directly linked with the rebellion of teenaged daughters and sons. Many never link these two dynamics together and live lifetimes of continued frustration and hurt. The sins of the fathers are passed down to the children. The seduction of anger is that it often works. It will produce fear in those it is directed at which can motivate them to a desired action. At the same time it normally leaves a seed that in time produces a wild fire of anger and rebellion in all it contacts.
I am not a Greek scholar but Baptist Pastor Dr. S.M. Davis has done an incredible study on the passage most angry people cling to in the Bible: Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. KJV
Dr. S.M. Davis study of this passage discloses that when someone is releasing their anger upon you. You're not to sin allowing their anger to gain control over you by responding with anger. A soft answer turns away wrath. We never find anger as a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. NKJV
We know from Ephesians 6 that Christians have a shield of faith to quench all the fiery darts of the enemy, but anger works as a false shield keeping those who would offer love and freedom through Christ at bay.
James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Your anger can never make things right in God's sight. NLT
Paul, while quoting Psalms 4:4 Don't sin by letting anger gain control over you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. NLT, also commands us to deal with our anger promptly; in Ephesians 4:26 And "don't sin by letting anger gain control over you." Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, NLT
These passages instruct Christians to handle anger and not to let anger sit and fester, where it will doubtlessly cause greater problems down the road. There can be no denying that anger is very powerful. This power is what leads to its incredible potential for destruction. So what are Christians to make of anger, and how are we to handle it?
The study of anger proves to be extremely beneficial in understanding and walking in victory over it. The best definition of anger I have found is given by Gary Smalley who says anger is a secondary emotion, not a primary feeling. It arises out of fear, frustration, hurt feelings, or some combination of these three. Remembering this definition can give us cause, when becoming angry, to stop and think: Why am I becoming angry?
To put it simply when we reach the point of anger we have already let our primary emotions of fear, frustration, and hurt feelings run wild. The key to breaking the anger cycle is being honest with the fears, frustrations, and the hurt feelings we carry. We are commanded in the Bible not to fear. Frustrations stem from our not getting our way which is selfishness. Hurt feelings come and fester when we do not forgive offenses which come to all of us. So, by studying the components of anger we can through the cross dismantle its hold over our lives by submitting to God through the confession of our sin. Steps to freedom from anger.
1) Confess your sin. (Anger: fear, selfishness, or hurt feelings-offenses)
2) Call upon God to deliver you from your sin.
3) Displace the lie you believe with the truth of the Word of God.
4) Give and receive forgiveness to everyone involved.
Humility Cures Worldliness
Worldliness, n. A predominant passion for obtaining the good things of this life; covetousness; addictedness to gain and temporal enjoyments.
James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. NKJV
I hope this has given you some ideas about how to deal with anger in a manner pleasing to God and may He richly bless you with His peace.