The Danger of Anger
Charles F. Stanley
Scripture: Ephesians 4:30-32
When you feel angry, how do you respond? Do you look for someone else to blame? Do you look inside? Do you look to God? Do you look at circumstances? Anger is a very dangerous emotion, and it's one we must respond to correctly or experience its destructive effects upon others and ourselves.
Anger defined: Feelings of strong displeasure and antagonism with the desire to do something in response to these feelings.
Anger has its benefits.
- Warns that something on the inside is not right.
- Can move us out of our apathy to accomplish and achieve things.
The symptoms of anger include:
- Rage is uncontrolled or explosive anger and is usually the result of a longstanding issue. Rage can also be viewed as open warfare against another.
- Resentment is suppressed or repressed anger. We might think of resentment as guerrilla warfare. It is passive aggression and possibly worse than rage.
- Indignation directed toward conditions or circumstances, not directly at another person. It can lead to trying to do something to right a wrong (e.g. having an abortion.)
The causes of anger include:
- Not getting one's way
- Fear of loss, or the loss of something
- Feeling threatened
- Past hurts
Anger has lasting effects on our lives if we don't deal with it properly.
- The physical effects of anger are both immediate and long-term. God didn't build the body to handle anger. It's devastating to the body to carry an unforgiving spirit.
- Unforgiveness divides people – friendships, churches, etc.
- Passive aggression occurs when we're angry about something but express our negative feelings in indirect or passive ways (e.g. a husband is angry with wife so he is late for dinner).
- Depression can be chemical, but most often it's the result of unresolved conflict in a person's heart.
We must learn how to handle anger.
- Own up to your anger.
- Identify the source of your anger so don't misdirect your response.
- Deal with anger quickly – you have the Holy Spirit within you to give you self-control.
- Forgive others just as God forgave you. His willingness to forgive is our model.
- Learn to identify the things that cause you to be angry.