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Posted by Rick Warren

"In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent." Psalm 4:4 (NIV)

"Anger is a choice. And when you get angry is because you've chosen to be angry."

We need to understand that there's a difference between sinful anger and legitimate anger; between appropriate anger and inappropriate anger; between helpful anger and hurtful anger. 

Anger is not necessarily wrong.  It's not always bad.  What makes it different is why you got angry and what you do with those feelings. 

Ask yourself, "What am I angry about? Why am I so upset?" 

It's very important that you understand this:  Anger is never the root problem. There is always a deeper issue.  Anger is simply an emotional reaction to one of three primary emotions.  If you want to understand your anger you've got to find out which of these three you are feeling, and maybe it's a combination of all three.  It's important that you know this because it's much easier to deal with the roots than it is to deal with anger itself.  When you get angry it's either because:

  1. You are hurt - either physically or emotionally.
  2. You are frustrated - Things don't seem to be turning out the way you want them to. When you're angered by frustration, ask yourself two questions: Would getting angry change the situation? Is it really worth being upset over?
  3. You fear something - you feel threatened or insecure.

When you focus on the real cause, it's easier to control your anger.

The fact is, you can't eliminate hurt and frustration and fear from your lives.  They're inevitable. But you can learn to deal with these things without becoming upset. Anger is a choice.  And when you get angry is because you've chosen to be angry. 

You might be saying, "You don't understand. When I get angry, I can't control it." As Christians, we have Christ's power in us to help us learn to control our anger.


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