As men across the country tune in to the bracket-busting big dance, the NCAA National Basketball Tournament this month, many will use games to take the a break from it all, phase out real life and put on the blinders so they only thing they see is the square box. For some, it will be a well-deserved distraction and enjoyable entertainment. For others, it will be an excuse to avoid what’s really going on inside and delay the inevitable.

At Every Man Ministries, we know men because we are men. We talk about real-life stuff. Tough stuff. Embarrassing stuff. Challenging stuff. We know the deal. There’s one issue that doesn’t get much air time, but every man struggles with to varying degrees. And, every many probably deals with it differently. Once it’s unleashed, chaos reigns. The enemy has fire to fuel, and he applies liberally. Relationships get torn while sin is born.

Anger

Some men rage, others suppress. Some shout, others pout. Some get aggressive, others passive aggressive. Some men throw a fit, others get physically fit. Some men ignore it, others embrace it. But one thing is for sure, if you don’t control anger, anger will control you. It’s madness on the march, trampling anything in its path.

We would all agree that getting angry rarely solves anything. But Jesus explains the seriousness of it in Matthew 5:21. From the Message translation, check this out:

  • “You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder.

Anger Fact: it seldom exists at the level at which you finally express or see it. It’s deeper. God knows this and He revealed where anger is birthed -- in the heart and mind.

In Genesis 4:3-12, the Bible gives a case study on anger and its consequences. God was not pleased with Cain’s offering and it ticked Cain off. Why? Because Cain’s offering did not come from the heart, he was just going through the motions. Cain wasn’t mad at God. He was mad at himself and jealous of his brother. Instead of taking his problem to God and being honest with himself, he loosed his anger and committed murder.

  • Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” -- Genesis 4:6-7

In this passage, God says don’t let anger master you. Do the right thing. If you don’t -- and here’s the BIG WARNING -- Satan capitalizes on the opportunity. It’s much easier to lie to an angry man (and get him to do something he’ll regret) than a man who has his emotions under control.

God says to Cain and to every man who will listen: “You must master your emotions.” Easier said than done! But the key is getting right with God.

To get a grip on anger, first recognize there are, and will always be a stimulus, a trigger and fuse. Then, there’s a reaction; that’s the jumping off point, followed by a consequence.

Fortunately, the Bible gives the math for dealing with anger: Quick + Slow + Slow

  • “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” -- James 1:19

How to Diffuse Emotional Bombs

Conflict is inevitable, destruction is optional. You’re not going to stop triggers that fuse bombs, but you don’t have to light them. The goal is to stop reacting, start responding. When you feel the fire burning and the pot’s about to boil over, follow these steps: