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In Your Anger...

In Your Anger...

Words of Faith 3-15-2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Ephesians 4

 [26] "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, [27] and do not give the devil a foothold.

 

       The Holy Spirit has some things to say about when you get angry.  The question is not "if" but "when."  The word chosen by the Spirit through pen of Paul is orgidzo.  It means to hold a passionate abhorrence or indignation.

      The problem is not so much with the anger but dealing improperly with anger.  "Be angry but do not sin..."  The King James actually translated this "When angry..."  The point is that anger will happen and it must be dealt with quickly and in a straightforward manner so that it does not lead us to sin.

       The truth is that anger itself is not a choice.  Anger is not a sin. It is a response.  What we do with our anger-- how we deal with it and express it-- is our choice.  And that can lead to sin. 

       Anger is simply what happens when something or someone that we care about is threatened. We may show our anger in a variety of ways or we may have even learned to mask our anger. Some think masking or burying anger is the correct Christian response, but it is not effective and always leads to an enemy foothold in us that we don’t want.

        What we fail to realize is that Jesus got angry, so anger per se cannot be sin.  In Mark 3:4-5, we find that Jesus was angry in response to the religious leaders.  Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.

         Jesus also expressed anger in the cleansing of the Temple. In John 2:13-16, Jesus found men selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So, he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves, he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!"

         Jesus expressed a righteous anger.  Righteous anger is directed at the right things at the right times and is expressed in the right way.  We can walk close to that ideal with the strength and fruit of the Holy Spirit.  James wrote: My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires (1:19).  The key for us often is to ask questions and learn the other side.  

        Jesus showed us two responses or expressions of anger.  One was clearing out the Temple-- a measured action within His rights that caused no harm.  The second was actually healing the man with the shriveled hand-- a measured response that expressed his power and love.  Both responses expressed His righteousness and holiness without hurting people.  Jesus brings cleansing and healing out of anger. 

       When we are angry, we are "not to sin," and we are to deal quickly.  This is because unresolved anger gives the devil a foothold.  The word actually means to provide a home or position.  When we fail to deal with anger, we give the enemy an opportunity or opening.  There are two images here-- a scabbard or sheath for a dagger to rest in or a rock or crag to cling to.  When we fail to deal with anger the devil gains an entry point and a place to live-- a sheath to rest in and wait-- a place to hang onto.

       This is why Paul writes that we are not let the sun go down on our anger.  We are to deal with anger quickly and thoroughly.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:22: I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell (Matthew 5:22).

       This time it is a passive imperfect tense-- anyone who "continues in their anger"... or anyone who "holds or carries anger" without reconciliation.  Another translation is anyone who "nurses anger" toward another.  Anyone who "carries unchecked anger" toward another... is subject to the Lord’s judgment.

        The solution?  Deal daily with anger.  This is certainly not a legalism as much as it is sage advice.  Don't let your anger linger.  Don’t nurse your anger for too many hours.  Deal directly with anger, neither burying it nor attacking with it.

       Have you been angry?  Is there an anger you have been nursing?  Is there anger you need to identify more clearly and deal with?  Is there a relationship that needs forgiveness– kindness, and compassion?  Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

 

      Father God, help me to identify anger when it rises in me.  Help me to evaluate the anger that I feel.  Help me to deal quickly and responsibly with anger so that I may not give the devil a foothold.  In Jesus’ Name.

 

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2010, 2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.