Ten Steps to Overcome One of Man's Greatest Giants-ANGER! Parts 1-7
Suggestion read parts 1-7 a little each day, like eating a small lunch or snack. Allow this information to sink in with the application. (James 1:22)
- Anger damages the spirit of marriage, and destroys the trust of sons and daughters, and grieves the Holy Spirit.
- Anger is not just a problem with carnal men.
- It can also afflict those who are spiritual.
- Anger caused King David to pronounce severe judgment upon himself, (2 Samuel 12:5) and anger kept Moses out of the Promised Land. (Numbers 20:10-12)
- I trust that the following ten-steps will be an immediate and long-term guide for you.
1. Recognize symptoms of anger.
- Irritability, impatience, raised voice, glaring eyes, hurtful words, explosive actions, silence, argumentation, clenched teeth, heavy breathing, and so on are some of the symptoms that let your family others know you are angry.
- Rather than denying the symptoms, acknowledge the danger they represent and then overcome it.
2. Accept anger as a spiritual "alarm”.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice,” RSV
3. Trace anger to its source.
- Anger is the accumulated tension from the guilt of past situations that have not yet been resolved. (We need to resolve the past situation as much as possible)
- For example, if your wife or son is disrespectful to you and you get angry, ask yourself if there were people in your past who ridiculed or mocked you and whom you never genuinely forgave.
- We have many Scriptural illustrations of this sequence.
- King Saul became angry with his son Jonathan because of Jonathan's defense of David
- However, Saul was angry with David because of a song that the young women sang after a battle. “. . . Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands"
1 Samuel 18:7
“And the women sang to one another as they made merry, "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands." RSV
- Saul was angry with the women because of anger toward his wife. He confirms this in his explosive statement to Jonathan: “. . . Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman . . . "
1 Samuel 20:30
“Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman,”
- Saul's dislike of women apparently caused his daughter Michal to react to him since he decided she would be a snare to David if he married her.
4. Clear up past offenses.
- Confess past sin and iniquity and ask God to cleanse you with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Iniquity is doing our own will, even if it seems good.
- Jesus did nothing of His own will but only what His Heavenly Father directed him to do."He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail [destroy]"
“He who sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail.” RSV
- When a man perverts his way (does his own thing), his heart frets against the Lord.
“When a man's folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the LORD.” RSV
- By tracing anger to past failures and clearing them up, we are able to actually thank the one who got us angry by simply saying, "I appreciate you because God used you to help me clear up something in the past”. In this way, you "bless" those who curse you.
5. Regain ground surrendered during previous anger.
6. Acknowledge the anger of forefathers.
- We inherit physical characteristics and health weaknesses from our parents.
- It is, therefore, reasonable to expect that we can also inherit sinful attitudes and tendencies from our forefathers.
- Scripture states that the iniquities of the fathers are visited upon the children of the third and fourth generation of them that hate Him.
Exodus 20:4-6 (NKJV)
"You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” NKJV
- Let us love God and not hate Him.
- We cannot blame our parents for our weaknesses, however, because “. . . where sin abounded, grace [the desire and power to do God's will] did much more abound"
“Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,” RS
- In the days of Nehemiah, the nation of Israel confessed their sins and acknowledged the iniquities of their fathers.
“And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.” RSV
7. Memorize Tongue-Tamers
- The tongue is an unruly member; it is set on fire of hell and can cause great damage through anger.(See James 3:5-8)
- Some starter verses to memorize are:
“Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, 20 for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.” RSV
“If any one thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man's religion is vain.” RSV
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” RSV
“You brood of vipers! how can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." RSV
8. Develop a tender heart.
“And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, 3 and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” RSV
- A tender heart is one that forgives offenders.
“and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” RSV
- God requires a tender heart for Him to hear our prayers.
2 Chronicles 34:27
“because your heart was penitent and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and its inhabitants, and you have humbled yourself before me, and have rent your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, says the LORD.” RS
- Thus, husbands are warned not to let bitterness spoil their marriage; otherwise, their prayers will be hindered. (It is a dead-end)
1 Peter 3:7
“Likewise you husbands, live considerately with your wives, bestowing honor on the woman as the weaker sex, since you are joint heirs of the grace of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered.” RSV
9. Yield your personal rights.
- Most anger can be traced to some personal rights that someone else violated.
- For example, a man may get angry because he was kept waiting. He has a right to plan his own schedule, not to have others plan it for him.
- A father may get angry with a son or daughter for not obeying him because he has a right to be honored. The fact is that fathers must yield their rights but not their responsibilities. For example, a father has the right to be honored but the responsibility to teach children to honor their parents.
10. Be accountable for daily victory.
- Several fathers have realized the absolute imperative of conquering anger and have offered to give an amount of money to each member in the family if they, as fathers, are angry. Often men do not get the point until it hits their pocketbook.
- These steps cannot be fulfilled in our own energy. They require the grace and power of the Lord. God gives His grace to those who humble themselves. Look for Biblical ways to humble yourself.
Insights on ANGER
- The problem of anger is a result of resisting the power of God’s grace.
“See to it that no one fail to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" spring up and cause trouble, and by it the many become defiled;” RSV
- Grace is the power that God gives us to follow His principles of life, both temporal and eternal.
- The success of our lives is entirely related to how much grace God gives us.
- Grace is the desire and power to do God’s will. (Philippians 2:13)
“For it is God Himself whose power creates within you both the desire and the power to execute His gracious will.” Wey (Richard Francis Weymouth)
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” NLT (New Living Translation)
- Paul’s prayer was that grace would be multiplied to every Christian.
1 Peter 1:2
“May grace and peace be multiplied to you.” RSV
- How then do we receive this grace?
- There is only one way- being humble.
“But he gives more grace; therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." RSV
- Most of us want quick solutions to this problem, but God wants to make sure that all His disciplines for character development in us and those around us are accomplished before the problem of anger is removed. God is very thorough in His work.
Thoroughness vs. Incompleteness
“Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words if neglected.” (IBLP) (See Proverbs 18:15)
- It would be wise to remind ourselves that each problem that arises is an opportunity for character building.
- Treat each problem as another character development class with the Holy Spirit.
- God is also more concerned that the right procedure is followed in solving the problem of anger rather than that the problem is actually resolved.
- It is the process of solving our problem of anger that constitutes the most meaningful chapters of our life message and becomes the greatest help to other people.
- We want to get out from under the pressure of the problem of anger, but God uses that pressure to motivate us to a greater level of spiritual maturity than we would otherwise have achieved.
- Often our present problem of anger is the result of past disobedience to the initial prompting of the Holy Spirit.
Self-control vs. Self-indulgence
“Instant obedience to the initial promptings of God's Spirit.” (IBLP) (See Galatians 5:24-25)
- Now God is using the problem of anger and the pressure of it to complete our obedience.
- If we fail to gain the benefits of our present problem of anger, new problems will rise.
- We need to be flexible with God as He helps us in the area of anger and in any area of life.
Flexibility vs. Resistance
“Not setting my affections on ideas or plans, which could be changed by God, others, or circumstances.” (IBLP) Colossians 3:2
- Either we are stiff as wood or flexible as a hose, the choice we always be ours.
- Be stiff as wood or flexible as a rubber hose.
The basic factor involved in anger is personal rights
- To have the mind of Christ as stated in Philippians 2:1-5 and enjoy the freedom and peace that results, we must learn the secret of dealing with our rights and expectations.
- The following material describes what is involved in dissolving the problem of anger. (Three ways A, B, C)
- Turning bitterness to forgiveness. (Clear conscience I Timothy 1:18,19)
- Transforming sources of irritations. (People, environment, and self)
- Yielding personal rights. (Ownership Mark 8:34; Luke 14:33)
- (A) Let me first make a few comments on turning bitterness to forgiveness.
- Turning our bitterness to forgiveness is a choice we need to make.
- By making the correct choice we maintain a clear conscience.
1 Timothy 1:19
“holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith,” RSV
- (B) Now let us go forward to Transforming sources of irritations.
- Both insight and discernment are needed to identify and transform sources of irritation into spiritual motivation.
- Every one of us has experienced sources of irritation.
- Their benefit or harm can be compared to a grain of sand.
- In the eye, it will cause irritation, infection, and loss of vision.
- However, in an oyster, it will cause irritation, concretion, and then a pearl.
- Many of our attitudes and actions are influenced more than we realize by that which irritates us.
- Therefore, it is extremely important that we identify and “transform” every source of irritation.
Identifying three Major sources of irritation
- People: The personality traits, idiosyncrasies, and inconsistencies of others provide an ever-present source of potential irritation.
- Environment: The deficiencies, inconveniences, undesirable elements, and pressures of our environment constitute a second source of potential irritation.
- Self: The defects, weaknesses, illnesses, and personal deficiencies, which we are not able to remove, constitute the third source of potential irritation.
Two classifications of irritation
- There are many irritations, which we experience which we can and should remove. A squeaky door can be oiled; an angry neighbor can be appeased, and a personal habit can be changed.
- There are other irritations, however, which are beyond our power to correct or remove. These irresolvable irritations provide the basis for a significant process, which God intends to take place within each of our lives.
Understand the purpose of irresolvable irritations
- If we continually retreat from these irritations, we force God to choose between allowing new irritations to rise and setting aside His highest plan for our life.
- Therefore, if some irritations seem to be rather permanent or irresolvable, we can be confident that they have a permanent benefit in our development and ministry.
- The unavoidable irritations, which come from other people, from our environment or from our own selves, are extremely significant.
- God uses these irritations to increase our sensitivity to the needs of other people or expanding our world of opportunity or developing inward qualities, which are so essential to successful living.
- If we react wrongly to these irritations, we destroy their potential benefits.
- If we respond to them with insight and proper action, we allow God to achieve His highest purpose in us - to reshape our lives as closely as possible to the ideal He has given us in the life of His Son.
- When a specific purpose is achieved through a certain irritation, God is then free to remove that irritation from our lives. Thus, we read in Scripture, “When a man's ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7 RSV
- (C) Now let us go forward once again to yielding personal rights. (Ownership Mark 8:34; Luke 14:33)
“And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” RSV
“So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” RSV
- In yielding rights, we must be careful not to yield responsibilities.
- For example, a student cannot say, “I gave my right to good grades to the Lord, and, therefore, I’m not studying as hard anymore.”
- A parent cannot say, “I gave my right to disciplining my children to the Lord and have stopped correcting them.”
- There are responsibilities given by God and must not be confused with personal rights.
- When God withholds from us a right that we have yielded to Him, we can expect that He will give corresponding insights into His Word.
- To gain this insight, we must first learn what He says about the right that is being tested.
- When we yield our rights to God, we can be sure that He will allow situations to develop in which these rights will be withheld from us.
- If we find ourselves becoming angry when this happens, we can be sure that our yielding of these rights was not complete in our own mind.
- Anger may also reveal related rights, which were never identified and yielded.
Meekness vs. Anger
“Yielding my personal rights and expectations to God.” (IBLP)
“My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him.” AMP
Click here. Character Qualities of Jesus (From IBLP)
Click here. Forgiveness vs. unforgiveness (The Two Ships)
Ten Steps to Conquer One of Man's
- Recognize symptoms of anger.
- Accept anger as a spiritual "alarm”.
- Trace anger to its source.
- Clear up past offenses.
- Regain ground surrendered during previous anger.
- Acknowledge the anger of forefathers.
- Memorize Tongue-Tamers.
- Develop a tender heart.
- Yield your personal rights.
- Be accountable for daily victory.
“Original source: ©Institute in Basic Life Principles Used with permission.”
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