Life’s Greater Aim – Love is not easily angered
When Paul says love is not easily angered, he means that as you grow in the agape love of Jesus, you’re going to become a person who isn’t readily provoked or irritated. You’ll become someone who is not inclined to vent, leak, or mask your anger, but will be able to control it instead. The book of James puts it this way: “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. (James 1:19)
Something To Talk About:
- Resolve to control it: You can control your anger. The dictionary defines temper as an “outburst of anger.” The second thing I realized is that emotions can be controlled and managed. It’s a choice. It’s a responsibility. When I get angry, I’m choosing to get angry and I’m not blaming anybody else. When I say “resolve to manage your anger,” resolve means you make a choice in advance. The time to decide to manage your anger is not when your blood pressure is rising and your muscles tense. No, you’ve already lost the battle at that point. You resolve to manage it in advance. “Today, I’m not going to let it get to me; Today, I’m not going to fly off the handle.” Resolve, and decide in advance.
- Remember the cost: When you remember the cost of uncontrolled anger, you will be more motivated to manage it. You’re less likely to get angry if you realize that there’s always a price tag to anger. The Bible is very, very specific Proverbs 29:22 says “A hot tempered man…gets into all kinds of trouble.” I always lose when I lose my temper!” You lose your reputation. You can lose the respect of others. You can lose the love of your family. You can lose your health.
- Reflect before reacting: Let’s in other words, think before you speak. Put your mind in gear before you put your mouth in gear. Anger control is largely a matter of mouth control. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:11 “A stupid man gives free reign to his anger; a wise man waits and lets it grow cool.” One of the greatest tools for anger management is a delay. Just wait a minute. So what do you do during the delay? You try to understand your anger. You analyze it. The Bible says in Proverbs 19:11 “A wise man (a man’s wisdom) gives him patience.” What’s irritating me? What’s making me feel this way? Figure out which of the three root causes is causing your anger.
- Release my anger appropriately: Ephesians 4:26 says “If you become angry, don’t let your anger lead you into sin.” It’s all in how you release it. So, what is the best way to release anger? You don’t suppress it, you don’t repress it, you don’t express it; you confess it. God says the way you release your anger is to confess it. You let it out to God. You admit it first to yourself: I’m angry. And you admit it to God: “God, I’m mad!” You talk to God about it. You confess not just the anger, but the cause: “I’m hurt. I’m frustrated. I’m scared. I feel insecure. I feel this is out of control.” You admit the cause behind the anger. This is how you deal effectively with anger.
- Re-pattern my mind: The Bible has a lot to teach about this. You change the way you think. The way you express your anger, you didn’t learn that overnight. Somebody modeled it for you. Anger is a learned response, and you learned some bad things. The good news is you can unlearn it. You don’t have to stay that way. You can learn new habits. The Bible says in Romans 12:2 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world.” What’s the behavior of this world? What the world teaches is, you got a problem, get revenge. You cannot change anybody else. Stop trying. You can’t change your kids, you can only change yourself. You can’t change anybody else. Only until the fear of change is exceeded by the pain of not changing will they change.
- Rely on God’s help: God’s love is the real secret to transforming us from angry people into peaceful people. 1 Corinthians 13:5b (NIV) tells us love “is not easily angered.” When we’re filled with God’s love, anger won’t rule us. Our relationship with Christ greatly influences our ability to master anger in our lives. How does God manage my anger? The Bible says in Galatians 5:22 “The fruit of the Spirit is patience.” In other words, when God’s Spirit is in me, He fills me with love and joy and peace, and patience. When we see the warning light of anger flashing on our dashboard, we don’t have to react in despair or recoil into guilt. Just repent of it, reject it, and walk away from it. Seek wise counsel in dealing with the issues below the hood. You will find that most of them are resolved through forgiveness.
- Anger can impact us in many different ways and in different areas of our life. And if we aren’t careful it can end up controlling us. Agree or disagree and why?
- When have you seen evidence of an “anger factory” in your life or someone else’s? What were the results?
- What are some seemingly trivial things that tend to make you angry (think social media, traffic, or home improvement projects)? Why do you think these particular situations trigger that emotion in you?
- When Paul says love is not easily angered, he means that as you grow in the agape love of Jesus, you’re going to become a person who isn’t readily provoked or irritated. You’ll become someone who is not inclined to vent, leak, or mask your anger, but will be able to control it instead. What does that mean in daily life?
- When Paul says love is not easily angered, he means that as you grow in the agape love of Jesus, you’re going to become a person who isn’t readily provoked or irritated. You’ll become someone who is not inclined to vent, leak, or mask your anger, but will be able to control it instead. How do you go about controlling your anger?
- What is the difference between anger and aggression in your mind?
- Proverbs 14:29 says: “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.” What does that verse mean to you?
- What methods do you use to keep your cool when someone gets angry at you or attacks you?
- What has uncontrolled anger cost your relationships?
- Think of a time that you chose to respond with wisdom and patience instead of anger. What happened?
- Where do we go from here? What’s the next step God wants you to take? When will you take it?
Take One Thing Home with You
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” James 1:19-20.
We all get angry. It’s unavoidable. There’s really no way to not get angry. Anger doesn’t want you to pause, it demands a reaction. It wants you to throw caution to the wind; say what you want to say and do what you feel like doing. The key is to deal with your anger…appropriately. When you detect anger in yourself, slow down, step back, zip up your lips, and take control of your mind. Take some time to think about where your anger is coming from. What is causing anger in you? What started it? Also, reflect on the consequences of your anger. What damage will you do to yourself and others if you let it go unchecked?
Then turn your disappointments, offenses, frustrations, and hurts and the anger they cause over to God. Determine that you will do whatever is necessary to make sure that anger doesn’t control you. Forgive people. Accept disappointments and delays patiently, trusting God’s plan and timing.