Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, October seventh. How can you deal with anger and hostility in a godly way? Dr. Stanley offers some guidelines from Ephesians, chapter four. What does it take to make you angry? Does somebody really have to give it to you bad? Or does the slightest little, slighty remark make you angry? How much does it take to make you angry? What does it take to make you angry?
What has to happen? And when you find yourself angry, what do you do about it? So, here's what I want to ask you to do. I want to ask you to be wise enough to consider these suggestions that I'm going to make that will help you deal with anger. And what I want to help you do is to do this, and that is build up your defense mechanism so that you don't find yourself embarrassing yourself, hurting others, hurting your family, your husband, your wife, and your children by the way you act and by the way you respond. You do not have to respond in the wrong way. Even when it is absolutely a disaster in your life, you do not have to respond in the wrong way. So, be wise enough to write these down.
They will be a defense. It'll be a mechanism that you can use to help you thwart off becoming angry and bitter and resentful and hostile and all the rest. And so, the first step is this, and that is you have to confess your anger. And if, as long as you deny that it's there by simply repressing it, no, I'm not angry, it continues. And remember this, whether you acknowledge it or not, the poison keeps seeping in your body.
It's still affecting every aspect of your being. Then of course, clarify and analyze the situation. That is, you need to ask some questions. Because you have a right to ask some questions, especially if something that is painful and hurtful.
So, let me give you a group of them. You might ask these questions. Ask, in other words, why people do the things they do to try to hurt you sometimes. What you have to ask is, first of all, are they motivated by hurt in their own life? Has somebody hurt them? Are they responding to you because of hurt in their own life?
So, you have to ask the question, have they been hurt by something? Is something going on in their life? Secondly, you might ask the question, are they frustrated? Now, you know, when you get frustrated about something, frustration means something's not working out the way I intend it to be.
And so, is this person frustrated? Another question you might ask is, are they feeling insecure about something? Is it something in their life that's going on that's making them feel insecure?
And what they're doing is they're just sort of venting on you what, not necessarily that you have anything to do with it, but it's inside of them and they have to deal with it. Another thing is jealousy. Think about how foolish jealousy is. It's so empty, so foolish, jealous of a what? Because she's better looking than you are? You can't change that. But here's what the Bible says, a kind man is attractive.
The same thing is true of a lady. But what you have to ask is, why is this person angry? Or ask yourself the question, why am I angry?
Is it because I've been hurt? Or sometimes it's because of something the other person has done or something that happened in you years ago and you've never gotten over it and now it pops out. Here's the thing about it, you can't hide it very long. You may hide it for a short period of time, but not really.
And so, what happens is if you're angry, it's coming out. And you think about now, living in a household, if you've got children, for example, and you think, well, they don't know. Kids are so smart, God's given a child this intuition. A child knows this whether you care for them or not. They know whether you're angry or not, whether you love them or not, whether you think they're in the way or not.
In other words, that's the way God made them. Now, the truth is, in some areas of our life, we should never grow up. We should always be that sensitive about things around us, of what's really going on. So, you have to ask yourself the question. Why are you angry? You're frustrated, tired, somebody's done this or somebody's done that.
So, you want to get to the root core of what's really happening. And then, I've said this in a different way, and that is deal with the problem. Deal with it. Don't, in other words, if you say, and most folks say, well, I'm going to. Whenever anybody tells me I'm going to, I don't let them off with that. So, if you come to me and something you need to do, you say, I'm going to. My next question is when? And so, if you say, well, I'm going to deal with this anger, I'm going to deal with this anger one of these days.
Well, one of these days, listen, you said that in two thousand. You were going to deal with it and it's still there. So, you have to deal with it. You have to choose not to let something continue in you that is in the process of destroying you and your relationships and absolutely fouling up your relationship to Jesus Christ.
So, you have to deal with that. Now, I want to show you a verse of Scripture that very clearly tells you what's going on in your life right now while you still have anger. Turn to the thirtieth chapter of Proverbs and here is a very clear description of what is happening to every single person right now who's angry. Now, I'll have to explain one part of this verse because kids won't, or maybe somebody, all of the kids won't understand this because today you go to the store and you just buy a pound of it or a stick of it. Now, listen to what this passage says, thirty-third verse of this thirtieth chapter, for the churning of milk produces what? Butter. And pressing the nose brings forth blood.
Watch this. So the churning of anger produces strife. A person who is living with strife is not happy.
Person living with strife, listen, you can be busy and impressing people, whatever it might be. If you have strife inside of you, it's going on and on. Anger is churning, churning, just like churning butter.
What does that mean? It's going round and round. And what happens to milk when you churn it?
It finally gets hard and produces butter. And what happens, watch this, when you allow anger to get churned in your life, it produces something else that starts with a B and it's what? Bitterness. Bitterness is a destroyer. Bitterness will make you ugly. You say, well, I don't know what's true or not.
Well, I'll tell you what you do. Give yourself a little time and go look in the mirror. We reflect who we are. And we reflect what we think. We reflect the true insides of us. And he says that like the churning of butter, what is it doing is producing bitterness in a person's life.
So, you have to ask yourself the question, have you got any of this thing going on in your life? Now, the next thing is this whole idea of ventilating. Somebody says, well, the best way to get rid of anger is to get it out. Now watch this, that is exactly true. And somebody says, well, just let it, if you're angry, just let it all hang out and just blow it out and just don't worry about it.
That is not true. Because to ventilate means that you're going to express it. But to just express it all over the place does you absolutely no good because listen, once you've done that, what have you done?
Here's what you've done. Once you just share it and blow it out and you may feel better for the moment, but you haven't cured anything, you haven't settled anything, you've just said it and said it and said it and said it your way. So, I want to give you a suggestion of how to really let it all hang out. You want to hear that?
Here's how you do it. You get by yourself in your bedroom, in your closet, prayer room or restroom or wherever, you just get by yourself. It's best that nobody can hear you, you're alone.
Open the Word of God and get on your knees. And then you just tell God anything you want to tell Him, I got it, I can't stand them, Lord. They have wronged me. I don't like them. I can't stand them. I hope I never see them again.
I don't care what happens to them. Just tell Him anything you want to tell Him. You think, well, God'll get angry.
Remember what the Bible says? He's very slow to getting angry. First of all, He knows what you're thinking. He knows how you're feeling.
He knows exactly how you're feeling and why you're feeling that way. He knows if some of that may be slightly legitimate, but He knows that what you're doing, what you're saying, you're getting it out. If you're going to get it out, listen carefully, get it out with God, by yourself, that you haven't hurt anybody else and you haven't acted like a fool. And the Bible says that anger, listen, anger rests.
It's there in the bosom of a fool. So, what you've done, you've gotten it out. And does that settle it? No. But if you're on your knees and you see, people say, well, you mean to tell me that I'm going to get on my knees and act like I'm going to be sanctimonious?
No. Get on your knees and say what you feel and then ask God to work in your heart to forgive you for your angry feelings and to help you to deal with that. And what I'm doing in this message is just giving you some ideas of different ways to deal with it depending upon the situation or circumstance you're going through.
I know they work. But if you've got to tell it, tell it to God and tell it by yourself and the right, and the right, anything you want to say to Him, then put it away. Somebody said, well, how do you put it away?
It's been in my life a long time. Well, if you couldn't, then these verses wouldn't be in the Bible. So, I want you to look in Ephesians four thirty-one for a moment and look what he says here.
In Ephesians four thirty-one, then we're going to go to Colossians. Ephesians four thirty-one, let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with all malice. That word, that word put away means to lift up and toss it. That is, it doesn't belong. Look at the traveling companions of anger here.
Bitterness, wrath, clamor, slander. In other words, put it away. And if you're a believer, you have within you the power of the Holy Spirit to say and to lay it down. God, I don't want that in my life and I choose to lay it down by Your grace and love and goodness. Now, there's some other things you have to deal with. You can't, that's not the end of the issue.
But that's a major part of it. You put it down. Now, turn to Colossians chapter three a moment and I want you to look at a passage here. And listen to what he says in verse twelve of chapter three. So, as those who have been chosen of God, that's all of us, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Boy, look at that contrast between Ephesians and Colossians. Put it on. Now, that word means to clothe yourself with it. The other word also means strip it away. That is, it's a Greek word, strip it away. Get rid of it.
Get rid of anger and bitterness and clamor and all of that. But when it comes to kindness and love and gentleness, you clothe yourself with that. That's who you are. So, there is the difference. And if He didn't mean that you could put it away, He would never say that.
What does He mean? It's by the power of the Spirit of God. There is within you the power to lay it down.
Then of course, the next thing I would suggest is to replace it. Now, you say, what do you mean by that? Well, when you get really angry, how do you replace that?
Well, here's what you do. You see, anger is a form of energy. And the good thing about anger is this.
If you direct that energy in the right direction, it can prove to be profitable. For example, you get fired up and angry, and I mean you just up to hearing it. Well, you could just blow off and say a lot of things. Or you could go wax your car. Or you could go to the golf range and put His name on it. I'm telling you right now, just the best shot you ever had.
I'll have to admit that I've had a few deacons in the past. Put it down there, my best swing. Or, you can go clean out your clothes then, lady. I mean, something you've been trying to do for a long time and I'm so mad I'm telling you I'm going to clean this place out. Now, I'm not saying, ladies, go shopping. That's not what we meant. That's not going to do any good. Oh, you're going to, if it's between you and your husband, you just intensified to end your business. You don't go shopping.
All right, listen, you can do many things if you have some hobby, just go get into it, whatever it is. Re-channel that energy because, listen, you've already decided you're not going to blow off. And this energy is, it's in you.
So, get rid of it, replace it. What about determine the benefits? Are there any benefits in being angry?
Yes, there are. When you become angry, one thing you know pretty soon is something wrong inside. Something inside needs to be dealt with. So, that part makes it good because it's like a barometer.
You sort of see what's going on. A second thing good about it is this, that God placed anger in our hearts. He makes it possible for us to be angry. So, because sometimes it's the anger that makes us get up and move and make something happen. And here's something that you've been wanting to see happen and so-and-so hasn't done it and you're angry about it and you just get up and you say, I'll fix that, I'll go do it myself.
So, we have to determine the benefits and it's a good benefit. Then, you have to purpose in your heart to prevent it from reoccurring. You say, are you telling me that I can fix something in my life so that I'm never angry again?
No, I wouldn't even want to. It's not right. But we can prevent the wrong responses to anger. You say, well, how can you prevent it? Well, here's how you can prevent it.
Now, watch this carefully. You can prevent it by deciding how you're going to respond when you feel anger coming on. You can decide. You say, well, I remember that stop sign business and that's simple enough for me to remember, that when I feel anger coming on, stop. You want to say it, but you don't say it. And you remember the Bible says, listening carefully, slow to speak, slow to anger, don't speak at all. In other words, you can decide how you're going to respond when you feel anger coming on. And then decide how you're going to respond to that person or to that situation. You can decide how to respond. It's a choice we make.
Then I would simply say, you'd have to just look at these and decide which ones you want to choose. And then the last thing I would say today is to stay away from angry people. You say, well, now, how you going to do that? Well, if you'll look in Proverbs twenty-two for a moment. Proverbs twenty-two, God's not going to tell us to do something we can't do. But we're talking about if, let's say for example, you work around somebody or primarily, I think what He's referring to here is friendships, that is, well, let's look at the verse and see what it says. Verse twenty-four says, Do not associate with a man or a woman given to anger, or go with a hot-tempered man or woman.
Look at that, you don't, you know what that says? Don't go with one. That means don't date them to start with. And secondly, don't keep going and don't marry them.
Because what happens is, here's what happens, or you'll learn his or her ways and find a snare for yourself. God is very clear about what He says about anger. That's all I'm going to deal with today, but there are two more absolutely essential parts of dealing with anger. But I didn't want to jam it in here and cram it into this group and not handle it adequately.
There are two of them. Number one is forgiveness, and number two is reconciliation. That's not a choice I have. You and I have a responsibility before Almighty God. In other words, if I refuse reconciliation and refuse to ask for forgiveness, I cannot, no matter who I am, I cannot be right with God no matter what. But we'll deal with that in the next message because there's a lot to it. I agree some things not easy to forgive. You used to say, Well, I'll forgive you. A lot of people think they have forgiven people, think they have forgiven, but they haven't forgiven because they're still churning on the inside.
And so, we'll deal with that. But I want to say to you, if you've never trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, all of this would be difficult for you because then you've got to depend upon your strength and your power and your energy. And within you, when you have been wronged, everything in you wants to make it right or make somebody else make it right. Where does it begin? It begins with a simple faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God who certainly demonstrated how to deal with those situations and circumstances.
He had plenty of opportunities to be angry in the wrong way, but He was not. All of us do and all of us will. And I want to encourage you to ask Christ to come into your life and to enable you to be set free. You are in bondage if you're living with anger. And I want to see you out of bondage and you can get out of bondage and be a free person, free from anger and free from these things that are destroying you and keeping you from being the happy, prosperous, loving person you want to be. And there are many people who really want to do what's right and want to be what's right, but they don't know how. If you shut Jesus out of your life and try to settle these issues, you're marching down a dead-end street because you cannot. You see, it's all for your good that we plead for you to deal with your life and your relationship to Christ. Thank you for listening to part two of How to Handle Anger. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
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