This is a review and summary of Dr. Jay Adams excellent pamphlet entitled, What Do You Do When Anger Gets The Upper Hand?
ANGER IS NOT ALWAYS WRONG – IT CAN BE A VERY LEGITIMATE EMOTION.
Ephesians 4:26 says “Be angry, and sin not . . .” Psalm 7:11 says, “. . . God is angry with the wicked every day.” (If God is angry, it certainly can’t always be wrong). In Mark 3:5 when talking about Jesus clearing the temple of profiteers, Mark said, “And when he had looked around about on them with anger . . .” Jesus was angry with those that were doing wrong.
THE TWO MAIN WRONG RESPONSES TO ANGER:
a. Clamming up
b. Blowing up
We clam up when we keep our anger inside and allow it to build into resentment.
We blow up when we express our anger in irresponsible ways. 1
While anger is not always sin, it is a sin not to deal with anger as God wants us to.
HOW DOES GOD WANT US TO DEAL WITH ANGER?
God doesn’t want us to blow up or clam up but to deal with the problem that caused the anger in the first place.
The answers to the following questions will help you do that:
1. What is the problem that caused the anger?
Explain the problem in as much detail as you can.
2. How much of the problem is your fault?
Explain your part in the problem. Be honest.
3. How can you specifically deal with your part or parts of the problem?
List the ways you can deal with your part in the problem; deal with it.
Once you have dealt with your side of the problem. Allow time for God to work in the other person’s life. Pray for them. Forgive them.
1 Adams, Jay E., What Do You Do When Anger Gets The Upper Hand? P and R Publishing co., Phillipsburg, NJ. 1975.