There is no quicker way to soil your spiritual garments and do irreparable damage to a marriage, parent/child, family, spiritual-family relationship than through a disposition that gives over to fits of anger. It is a work of the flesh. Human relationships are destroyed by the flesh. Passages like 5.15, 26; James 4.1-3 are written to Christians. They battled these things in the first century. We battle them today.
I. GALATIANS 5.20c – UNDERSTANDING THE TERM
- When the Holy Spirit says fits of anger, He has a specific thing in mind.
- Original word: It’s meaning depends on the context.
- “Turbulent agitation, something that is passionate, and at the same time temporary.”
- A passionate outburst of anger or hostile feeling that is uncontrolled verbal violence.
- Anger is not always sinful. There is a place for it. It’s a God-given emotion.
- Psalm 7.11 – God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.
- Mark 3.5 – Jesus got angry with the Pharisees, but it was always inside the context of self control.
- Ephesians 4.26 – the expression of anger is not condemned, the expectation is to keep it within it’s proper boundaries.
II. SINFUL ANGER IS DRIVEN BY THE FLESH
- Sinful anger is driven by selfishness.
- Anger becomes sinful when it is allowed to simmer and boil.
- Proverbs 25.28: A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
- Ecclesiastes 7.9: Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.
- Anger becomes sinful when it attacks the person and not the problem.
- Speak when angry and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.
- Matthew 5.21-22 – How many hearts are brutalized by words that deeply cut?
- James 3.14-16 – quit giving in to demonic wisdom.
III. 5 STEPS TO A PEACEFUL DISPOSITION
- Proverbs 28.13 – Admit any mistake you’ve made. You’re not perfect.
- James 1.25 – Expend effort to correct your part of the problem. Decisive action!
- Romans 12.16-18 – Work together to solve the problem. See James 3.17.
- Romans 12.20-21 – Return good for what you think is evil.
- Romans 12.19 – Make room for the vengeance of God.
- Galatians 5.21 cannot be ignored. Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
- 1 Peter 3.8, 10-12 – How you handle interpersonal relationships will affect your salvation.