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Posted by Rick Warren

“If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin” (Ephesians 4:26 TEV).

There are helpful ways and harmful ways to release your anger. For instance, sometimes we'd rather remain angry than admit to our anger. Yet, the Bible says that to be angry and not admit that you are angry is lying. And that's a sin.

Keep in mind: anger is not necessarily wrong. It only becomes wrong if we release it in a way that is inappropriate or destructive. My experience as a pastor is that most of us learned to express our anger when we were two or three years old, and we’re still expressing our anger in the same way as adults. Needless to say, this simply doesn't work.

Most people express their anger in such a way that they end up farther away from their goal than they were before they became angry. Anger, expressed inappropriately, has the opposite effect of producing the intended results. Blowing up at people never produces lasting change; it only produces more anger and alienation. We know that but we still do it. It doesn't produce lasting change.

Something to keep in mind is that anger is never really the root problem. It is usually a symptom that reveals one of three things is happening: hurt, fear, frustration. These are the three things that make us angry, and this is why we should always stop and cool down. It allows us to think:

• Am I hurt?
• Am I afraid? Perhaps feeling threatened, or that I'm going to lose something of value?
• Or, am I frustrated?

Understanding the source of your anger will help you respond in an appropriate manner, so that your anger does not “lead you into sin” (Ephesians 4:26 TEV).


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