INTRO: For a great many years the subject of anger has been of interest to me. One of the reasons for my interest is that I want to be careful of my own responses to anger producing situations. Another is that I see the damage that anger produces in relationships of all sorts ... especially, within families. In my library there are two books standing side by side. They have similar titles ... and different titles. The titles are these: Happiness Is A Choice and Anger Is A Choice. Many people would agree with the title of the first book, but I have found that there is considerable resistance to accepting the implications of the title of the second. Yet, as one reads the Bible he begins to have a problem justifying ordinary anger ... at least, on Biblical grounds. And the book of Proverbs has a good bit to say about anger. Lets look at what it says.
1. Prov 16:32 - Anger can be controlled
a. a deception of Satan is that anger is beyond ones control
b. another deception of Satan is that anger is a right
c. the issue is the control of the spirit - and many people simply have no control of their spirits, their emotions
d. yes, emotions are very real, and situations may cause responsive feelings
e. Biblical writers tell us, though, that anger is controllable - ruleth his spirit
f. 2 Tim 1:7 - God has given us a spirit of self control, self discipline!
2. Prov 27:4 - Anger is not viewed in a complimentary way in scripture
a. wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous...
b. outrageous refers to a flood of water ... destructive in its force
c. so, bottom line, anger is destructive!
d. Jas 1:20 - ...wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God
e. if you are a person given to anger, you need to know that your anger is hurtful, destructive and works against the will of God
f. many are the relationships which have been damaged by anger
3. Prov 19:19 - Anger inflicts punishment on the angry person
a. notice that the wrathful person shall suffer punishment
b. studies indicate that anger may develop into a variety of physical ailments
c. and anger certainly affects ones judgment, thinking, emotional balance
d. one of the realities of bizarre, undisciplined behavior is that it usually comes back to haunt that person!
e. and the longer one does not deal with his anger, the deeper the problem
f. if thou deliver him, yet thou must do it again - an angry spirit is not a problem with which to trifle ... or to take lightly!
4. Prov 21:19 - Anger is ruinous to a marriage
a. earlier, I noted the damage anger inflicts on relationships
b. and in the marriage relationship anger sets the stage for a broken home
c. people involved in counseling give anger as the cause of much of the counseling they do (one prominent psychologist says 80 to 90 percent of all of his counseling involves anger)
d. so, if anger (manifested in so many ways) is rearing its head in your marriage, take steps now to control your spirit
e. anger will not produce harmony ... to the contrary, it produces division
f. Col 3:8 - Christian people must put anger, wrath, malice away from them!
5. Prov 22:24,25 - Anger may be learned
a. companionship with people who do not control their spirits is unwise
b. such a friendship will ultimately be unpleasant - embarrassing
c. his anger may be directed toward us, and we, then, respond in kind
d. another problem is that we can learn to respond, react to situations just as they do ... and we become undisciplined, unpleasant people, too
e. then, notice ...and get a snare to thy soul - anger puts souls in danger
f. we need companions whose companionship encourages good in us
6. Prov 15:1,18 - We must not become unwitting accomplices to anger
a. anger directed toward us seems to want to respond angrily
b. but it is often (usually?) within our power to calm the situation by controlling our tone, our body language, our words
c. some folks seem bent on adding fuel to the fire ... escalating the matter
d. but such behavior is unseemly and unchristian
e. Prov 15:1 is one of most valuable pieces of wisdom I know - let it become the habit of your life
CLOSE: I have learned over years of time to very much appreciate Prov 19:11. If we can defer anger, then, anger truly is a choice. And how beautiful it is to see a wounded spirit passing over a hurt in order to keep relationships intact! There is so much to learn about anger from the wisdom of Proverbs.
Cecil A. Hutson
26 September 2004
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)