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How Do You Respond to Anger? Good and Bad Ways found in the Bible

 

USING ANGER TO MAKE OR SOLVE CONFLICT

by Dr. Paul Schmidt

 

Resentment vs. Peacemaking

 

Anger is the normal human response to injustice.  When faced with hurt, it guides and motivates our efforts to correct an unfair situation. When justice is seen through the eyes of divine love and mercy, the anger is God’s, and it is a powerful force influencing others.  When the focus of our hurt is personal (our needs have been neglected, our pride has been hurt), we are walking in the flesh, so the most adaptive response is a turning to God for comfort and guidance. Sadness and tears are often the outward expression.  When our expressions of grief (“I’m so sorry you feel that way”) meet with a cold heart and closed mind in others, then anger, having first broken open and cleansed our own souls, can do the same for others.  Here is how this morally neutral power of anger can be harnessed to do good for the Kingdom of God.

 

INEFFECTIVE INWARD RESPONSES TO ANGER  (Resentment)

Deny it, or bury it alive.  Eph 4:26

Run to God about something else, as an escape, like just going on to church or Bible study

             and acting like nothing is wrong. Mt 5:23-24;  Mk 11:25-26

Plan ways to get even.  Rom 12:17,18

EFFECTIVE INWARD RESPONSES TO ANGER (Peacemaking)

Turn to God for help, Psalms 39 and 56, and for inner cleansing. Psalm 51; Mt 7:1-5.

Forgive others. Matt 6:12-15; Mt 18:21-35; Eph 4:32; Col 3:13

Pray for enemies, appealing to God’s

         wrath:  Psalms 35 and 109, Matt 23

         justice:   Psalms 28 and 37, and then

         mercy:   Luke 6:27-8, 23:33-34

Decide if it is your anger (problem) or God’s.  Romans 12:17-21

 

INEFFECTIVE OUTWARD RESPONSES TO ANGER  (Resentment)

Speaking quickly without reflection.      Prov 14: 17, 29

Cursing                                           Rom 12:14, James 1: 19-21

Gossip                                            Lev 19:16, Rom 1: 28-9

Hostile, insulting criticism to the offender’s face.    Mt 5: 21-2

                                behind offender’s back.      II Cor 12:20

Getting even – paying back the hurt.   Mt 5: 38-9, Rom 12:19

 

EFFECTIVE OUTWARD RESPONSES TO ANGER (Peacemaking)

Be kind to enemies.  Mt 5: 38-47; Rom 12: 19-20; I Sam 24: 1-22

Take action to correct situation.    John 2: 13-17

Verbally confront the offender.   II Tim 2: 24-25; Mt 23

Try to make peace, first one-to-one, then with one or two others to help resolve differences,

         then to church authority.   Mt 18: 15-20

The healing of the relationship comes from the new and deeper understanding of each other,

         which comes from really listening to each other, which comes from the power of Jesus’

         presence: v. 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Dr. Paul Schmidt, PhD

Dr. Paul Schmidt, PhD is a psychologist life coach with offices in Louisville and Shelbyville, KY, 502 633 2860.