The world is becoming increasingly violent in these last days. We see road rage that is costing lives of innocent people. The Malls that we all have loved to go in and walk and window shop have become hot spots for violent and senseless shootings, leaving a multitude wounded or dead. It seems like everyone is angry at something or someone. The Lord said that the last days would be like the days of Noah.
Genesis 6:5 ESV The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Genesis 6:11-12 ESV Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence. (12) And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
A Christian should be different from the lost world in the way we think, speak, and act. The three key words in which God intends the believer to change is Word, Deed, and Thought.
Like everything else we have to grow into maturity in all areas of life. One of the areas which we need to mature in and have victory over is anger. When violence fills the land, Christians should not be a part of the world's problem but be a part of the solution.
What if we have an anger problem? What if we have had it so long that we excuse it away as just a part of our personality? What if we know we have an anger issue but don't know how to deal with it? What if we justify our anger by thinking or saying that the people in which it is directed deserves it or that we deserve to be angry because of the life that was dealt to us ?
I would like to offer some steps in overcoming anger which is deep seeded within the heart. Of course reading this study will not set anyone free, but it will arm the believer with the necessary tools to be an overcomer in the area of anger.
1. FACE THE REAL ISSUES:
Can you admit to having a spirit of anger? Do you really want to live as God desires? Do you want self-control, which is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit? Do you want to love one another and forgive one another as Christ says we should?
We must first accept the fact that we have anger issues. Ask those around you if they sense a spirit of anger in you. Acknowledgment is the first step of overcoming anger. Why? Our pride does not make it easy to say that we were wrong in our actions, words and judgments. Of course there are those who are internally angry, but try to carry a smile and act as though everything is fine on the outside. Those cannot hide their anger forever. They are like dynamite looking for some place to explode.
We need to ask: Do we really want to live out God's love in our life?
How important is it to get victory over our anger? Notice that outbursts of anger is listed in Gal.5:20 as works of the flesh and carries a great and terrible warning.
Galatians 5:13-17 ESV For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (14) For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (15) But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. (16) But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (17) For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Galatians 5:19-21 ESV Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, (20) idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, (21) envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
To be continued tomorrow:
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSI Ministry, RSI School of Ministry, and RSI Publishing L.L.C..