"Be Angry and Sin Not!"

How to Handle Anger

"Be angry and sin not; do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity to the devil." Ephesians 4:26.

Be angry: do not repress anger, allow it to be inappropriately expressed, not be depressed and turned in on you. [Repression: isolating, pouting, abusing, breaking promises, etc.]

Sin not: express your anger righteously, within boundaries, using anger as motivation to correct sin or to protect sinners. [Righteous expression: determination, endurance, assertiveness, accepting responsibility, holding no grudges, praying for enemies, forbearance, being quiet]

Do not let the sun go down on your anger: settle anger quickly; pray, go then pray again; fess up then clean the mess up.

Anger is a Good Gift from God

A ccept Anger; Cave Man versus the Tiger, The Gap between What is Wanted and What Is; also accept other emotions {hurt, scared, sad, guilty, rejected, betrayed}
N o defenses; avoidance, denial, displacement, intellectualization, projection, rationalization, reaction formation, regression, suppression.
G odly boundaries; hate sin and love sinners, Golden Rule, not Fight or Flight, enlightened self interest.
E xpress anger effectively; use the energy for good, not the cold shoulder or silent treatment.
R esolve the issues quickly and reconcile; surrender to God's will. Forgive wrongs. Celebrate satisfaction and peace.


In Your Anger, Do Not Sin
Psalm 4:4

Steps to anger management:

Recognize your reaction = angry!

Pray for love, wisdom, strength

Define the problem angering you

Brainstorm options to make you stop being angry

Consider the consequences of each option

Choose an option to try

Evaluate how it went

Either celebrate success or start over.

Anger Directed at Injustice & Sin

Anger is out-of-bounds when it hurts anyone. Anger directed at injustices or sin furthers the cause of Christ. Anger at slavery won freedom. Anger at wrong sets things right.

Jesus was described as an angry young man. In Mark 3:1-6, Jesus became angry at the apathy of the Pharisees toward suffering. Jesus shows us how to use anger to correct a problem, to heal disease, to build people up, not add to evil by tearing down others.

Jesus cleared the Temple of merchants who made God's house into a den of thieves (see Mark 11:15-19). Jesus expressed His anger as righteous indignation, taking a stand against sin.

When is your anger out-of-bounds?

Where could your anger help God?

What kind of suffering makes you mad enough to take a stand for Christ's sake?

Your Anger Goes Somewhere

Anger doesn't just evaporate. Maybe you've seen a bitter old lady with fist curled from years of resentment knuckled under her skin. Maybe you've known a man like Sanford, the junk yard dad on television, faking a manipulative heart attack, yelling in order to get his way. Maybe you thought good Christians shouldn't feel it and stuffed it, drowned it or numbed it.

If you'll let yourself feel it, then you can heal it. Face it; feel it; finish it; forgive it.

Write down on a piece of paper what you're angry about; put down all the reasons why it made you mad; note the impact it made upon you and others; finally name everyone you have to forgive. Then, burn it. As the smoke goes up to heaven, pray to God to forgive you and all concerned, to furnish the means of reconciliation and to find a future hope for good to result from getting rid of your anger.

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Dr. Ray Smith


Ray Wm. Smith, Ed.D
9507 N Division Street Suite A
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