How to Be Angry Without Sinning – Part Five

Ephesians 4: 26, 27

How are we to avoid improper anger?

It is a flash of anger that gets us into most trouble. With that in mind Seneca said the greatest cure for anger is delay. Purpose to always delay before getting angry. Resolve to let Jesus review each case before you respond in anger. Determine to run each experience through the final filter of prayer.

Thomas Jefferson said, “When angry, count to ten before you speak; if very angry, count to a hundred.”

Let me add, if you are angry after counting ten — demand a recount.

Love is backwards to anger. Love for God is opposite to anger with His creation. Love will hold down irascible anger so that reason and the spirit of love can control improper passions.

At the end of the chapter containing our text is specific instruction for dealing with anger (vs. 31).  Notice – – – “rage and anger” 

“Rage” translates the Greek word THUMOS which refers to an inward feeling. It literally means to “get hot.”

“Anger” translates the Greek ORGE and signifies an actively expressed emotion. If “rage” means to get hot, “anger” means to boil over.

This is an appeal to avoid letting something build up in you to a boiling stage and exploding. Avoid this by not being a collector. Don’t put little irritants in a memory book like you would pictures in a photo album.  Don’t be a scorekeeper in the sense of keeping a record of injustices done by others.  Have you ever noticed that people who are scorekeepers always win in their own minds?

Abraham Lincoln, on hearing a friend express anger toward someone, advised him to sit down and write a letter expressing his feelings. “It will do you good,”  he said.

When the letter was written it was read to Lincoln. The president complimented it for its rigid and harsh content. This pleased the author who asked, “How would you advise me to send it?”

“Send it?” said Lincoln, “Oh, I wouldn’t send it. I sometimes write a letter like that — it does me good, but I never send it.”

The person you let anger you is the person who controls you.

Here is a super way for those who really have trouble with anger. Keep an anger “mad scorecard.” Though we should never keep score of wrongs done to others it is good to keep an actual scorecard on the times you control your own anger. Every time you avoid getting mad, write it down. Make it a game. Each day review your actions. Conscientiously keep a record and strive to improve. See how long you can go without improper anger.