One of the most dangerous things to do is to give voice to a sin that someone has not been able to conquer. Specifically, they know that they have done wrong and they are fighting a war with their conscience and we speak up, inadvertently becoming their enemy.
I once wrote:
Men will do whatever they can to be at peace with themselves. The war raging in their minds to have their own way is palpable. It may conflict with societal norms, their core beliefs, or their upbringing. When this conflict occurs, the mind will wrestle and either cease from violating their beliefs or attempt to beat them into submission.
Silencing a guilty conscience is an arduous task filled with pain and confusion. We arm ourselves with rationalizations and denials and wade into battle. When we find victory, we can be at peace with our actions and continue on our selfish path. When we lose or find stalemate, our emotions become frayed and fierce.
Paul writes of people having their “own conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:2). If someone is fighting a losing battle in this regard, their frustration and self-loathing will be manifested against us, simply because we are there. In fact, it often has nothing to do with us whatsoever. We have to be mature enough emotionally to see the displaced anger and not take it personally (John 15:18-19).
In September (2010) a Kentucky man lost his temper over how his wife cooked his eggs and in a rage killed her, his stepdaughter, three neighbors and then himself. Stanley Neace, 47, of Mount Carmel could have used an Anger Management Course. A Proverb says, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” When push comes to shove and you are tempted to show someone who is boss, stop and think for a moment. Count to ten, then lead with your head, not your feelings. If I were creating a new proverb, it might be: “the man who blows his top, loses his head.” Stanley certainly lost his. This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess
Everyone gets angry, but there has never been an allowance for it in the New Testament. On the contrary, anger is something we must put away.
The Apostle Paul, in Colossians 3, describes Christianity as the thinking of higher and greater things. As a consequence of changed thinking, one who is risen with Christ must put off the tattered, filthy rags of earthly thinking. Those rags include sexual sins, anger, wrath, malice, slander, lying and filthy speech.
Anger can be righteous indignation, the kind of anger God exhibits. The anger Ephesians 4:26 describes is an indignation quickly extinguished.
Wrath, however, is anger mixed with time. Wrath can become intense displeasure or rage. It is fierce and usually seeks an action such as revenge or satisfaction.
Christians are not perfect, and instances will occur where anger will flare. It is possible, however, to learn humility and patience to overcome the earthly thinking reflected in the sins of the tongue listed in Colossians 3:8, 9.
One good way to do this is to remember James 1:19-20, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath; For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”
Usually when my wife and I get in a heated argument, I’ve found that the best way to deal with anger is to just simply get out of the house and go walking. Not only does it cool the fires of anger between me and my wife, it also allows both of us to think rationally about the situation, instead of using our emotions.
Additionally, walking allows me the time to not only “think” about the situation, but to also take it to the Lord in prayer, relying on His wisdom and understanding, in order to arrive at a solution to the problem.
Article on resolving problems: http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2007/05/22/resolving-problems-in-human-relationships/
As with just about all others, I really dislike getting angry. Because I dislike it so much, I do whatever I can to prevent it. However, I am not always successful. Some years ago, probably about 25-20 years ago, I adopted a philosophy that has been both helpful and not so through the years. That philosophy is: expect the worse, hope for better.
It is practical, but it also develops a mindset. The good I learned from it is that what used to make me angry, now only disappoints me. When I would get angry and respond strongly, now I am only disappointed, but not surprised. The down side to this is a “defeatist” disposition. Knowing the down-side, I have compensated for that as well – Philippians 4:8.
I rarely get angry, and when I do, I stay quiet. It serves no real good for me to speak in my angered moments. I have done so, and I have done OK, but many more times than not, I have not done well at all. That which I work on now is this: in my angered moments, in my disappointed moments, or in my moments when I have a bad (pitiful) day, is not to let anyone else have a bad day as a result of where I am at that particular moment.
How do you tend to deal with anger? Does it often get the best of you? Recall a situation when you dealt well and properly with your anger. Describe that moment so we all can fix it in our minds and rejoice in your and our success in not letting anger get the best of us.
Mike Benson says he has five chapters of Revelation to go at Andrew Connally school in Tanzania. Don’t know of other news, except a story coming up on BNc from Brazil.
BTW, there haven’t been many replies recently to the Nudge. Has this feature reached the end of its usefulness? You say.
I always regret a fight that started with anger, whether on my part or in my reaction. Some folks can’t seem to make it through life without some kind of fuss going on. I don’t need fusses. They don’t help. I keep reminding myself of 2 Timothy 2:24-26 and my need to be gentle and reasonable.
In some of my online debates in the 1990s, I learned that if I ever get ugly or angry, I always lose. Even if I am right, I am wrong for the attitude and lose the respect of the lurkers. I vowed to let my opponents say anything ugly they wanted; I wasn’t going to act that way. I was going to be nice and respectful. I could win respect, even when I could not convince others of the truth, by my attitude. My deepest regret was when I fell to treating my opponents the way they often treated me.