Previously we discussed the dangers of sinning in your anger. One of the struggles we have as Christians is keeping our anger in check. Following are a few points I have picked up along the way that can help you avoid the mistake of sinning in anger.
1. Confess your anger (Matthew 5:23-24)
Sometimes, avoiding sin in our anger is as simple as confessing we are angry. I believe confession comes in two forms: confession to God and confession to others. Ephesians 4:25 reminds Christians that we are to speak truthfully to one another. This often means we must share when we are angry. Confessing to one another and God can defuse our anger before we find ourselves in sin.
2. Explore your anger (Proverbs 14:29)
Have you explored anger enough to understand the importance of not being quick tempered? Do you understand what it is that brings you to a hasty temper? If you are easily angered, there is a reason. It may be pride, insecurity, or a number of other things. Whatever the reason, explore your anger and begin to understand the true button being pushed. This will help you avoid the mistake of sinning in your anger.
3. Control your anger (James 1:19-20)
As Christians, we are called to keep our anger under control. The worldly individual will give in to the passions and heated decisions of anger but a Christian must maintain composure enough to not sin. Proverbs 16:32 says “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” We also see in Ephesians 4:26 that we must make every effort to handle our anger quickly so that sin does not take hold of us. You cannot be righteous if you do not have control of your anger.
In the words of a Disney movie…Let it go! Christians are called to be forgiving and to not dwell on the wrong done to us. We often sin in our anger because we allow it to take hold of us. Rather than wasting so much effort on thinking about our anger, learn to let it go and move on.
5. Replace your anger (Proverbs 15:1)
A soft word not only replaces our anger, but it can replace the anger in those we are speaking with. Proverbs 10:12 says “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” We must replace our anger with love for others. Our anger is often due to not allowing love to cover all offenses against us.
Avoiding the mistake of sinning in anger is simple in concept and difficult in practice. Conceptually, we will avoid sinful anger by overcoming it with the emotion of love for others. The practice of avoiding sinful anger, however, involves learning to take the 5 steps listed in this article.
God dealt with his anger against our sin by allowing his son, Jesus, to be sacrificed on our behalf. This was how God overcame anger with love. How about you?
What step do you struggle with the most? Which do you need to submit to God today?