"Refrain from anger and turn from wrath." Psalm 37:8 NIV
"In your anger do not sin." Ephesians 4:26 NIV
Thoughts for Today
The Bible tells us to refrain from anger. It also tells us to be angry, but not to sin. Although this first sounds like a contradiction, a study of the Scriptures reveals that there are times when anger is accepted and appropriate—and other times when it is not. The Bible teaches that it is what makes us angry and how we express it that determine whether anger is right or wrong.
Throughout the Old Testament we read time and again of God's anger—always directed at people's sin. And in the New Testament, Jesus expressed his anger and cleansed the temple of the greedy money changers who were showing dishonor and disrespect and defiling and disrupting God's house. And so we know that there are times when anger is the most appropriate behavior. But what about when we become angry for selfish reasons … or express our anger in spiteful ways? In your anger do not sin.
What is the source of your anger? Do you get angry when you are denied something you want? Or because someone didn't respond to you the way you desired? … Or are you angry because God is being dishonored? What is making you angry … and what are you going to do about it? The answers to these questions will determine the right and the wrong of it.
Lord, forgive me for the times I have become angry for the wrong reasons and the times I have expressed anger in hurtful ways. I pray that you will help me not to sin in my anger. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Anger: Our Master or Our Servant—Creative Use of a Powerful Emotion by Larry Heath. This study offers a clear explanation of anger, what causes it, and how to recognize when you are sinning with anger. It not only ministers to church members, but serves as a powerful evangelistic tool. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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