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God's Anger is Different than Our Anger #2

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
We must not believe that we are unable to control the emotion of anger when it arises within us.


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When God gives His children a command He supplies the grace for them to obey that command. Since He tells us to put away bitterness and anger, we can be certain that it is possible for us to do so.

We must not believe that we are unable to control the emotion of anger.

Paul assures us in 1 Corinthians 10:13,

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.

Being tempted to lash out in anger is not a sin. We sin when we choose to express our anger in an unbiblical manner. God wants to teach us His way of escape.

When we are quick to anger, we demonstrate a lack of trust in God’s sovereignty.

Consider what it is that most often provokes us to anger. When someone violates our rights—our right to happiness, to comfort, to security or to respect, for example—we are naturally inclined to respond angrily.

 

One of the first steps toward learning to conquer our anger is to acknowledge the truth of Romans 8:28. If we have placed our faith and hope in a God who causes all things to work together for our good, we understand that we do not need to defend or preserve what we perceive to be our “rights” in life.

 

Again Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 13:5,

Love does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, it does not take into account a wrong suffered.

 

If we are to control our anger, we must learn to “put on” patience, kindness, humility, tenderheartedness and forgiveness.

We should practice biblical love by forgiving those people who offend us, just as God has forgiven us. We ought to do deeds of kindness for those people that irritate us. We must heed the command of 1 Peter 3:8,9,

To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

God’s perfect anger is completely unlike our own sinful anger.

We sometimes try to justify our anger in certain situations by telling ourselves, “Jesus got angry, so I can get angry too.” We should remember that God is holy and we are not. His holiness, justice, love and perfection never fail.

These attributes of His character remain constant, and they are perfectly consistent with His wrath. He exercises His vengeance with a heart of righteous indignation. God tells Moses, for example, in Numbers 25:4, “Take all the leaders of the people and execute them in broad daylight before the Lord, so that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.”

 

We should not deceive ourselves by thinking that we possess God’s perfect balance of holiness, lovingkindness, justice and wrath. Unlike our heavenly Father, our flesh constantly battles between right and wrong, good and evil. Apart from God’s grace, we are very unlikely to respond to emotionally charged situations without sinning with our anger.

 

Rather, we should heed the exhortation of 1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” God mercifully restrains His anger against us and we must do likewise when we are tempted to sin with our anger.

 

Family Counseling Ministries is a Christianity.com Partner Ministry.

 




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