Updated: Jul 7
Be Aware. As we discover the reality, the depth, and the breadth of the anger of our hearts, we must be cautious. Knowledge is not power when it comes to anger. The more knowledge we have about anger does not translate to more control over anger. In fact, Paul warns us that knowledge alone leads to pride (1 Cor. 8:1). This does not mean that ignorance is the key to victory over anger either. Anger is rooted in pride, so the antithesis is humility to begin to root our anger. It is the humility to acknowledge our inability to deal with our anger. It is the humility to admit our dependence and desperate need of Christ to give us the victory (the gospel).
We must be careful. We have learned much about anger, but our learning does not result in victory. Our knowledge of the vicious, dangerous, and deadly effects of sin ought to cause us to turn in dependence to God. Our knowledge ought to make us even more cautious. Knowledge about electricity, how it works and its dangers, does not embolden us to stick our finger in a outlet. It teaches us to be cautious. Knowledge about the ocean waves, their power, unpredictability, and subtlety, does not allow us to be careless or thoughtless when visiting the beach.
So it is with anger. Our knowledge that we have gained should teach us to be on guard, to be cautious, and to be dependent upon the Spirit who gives victory over anger's deadly impact. Knowledge does not allow us to handle anger with professionalism and experience. It should lead us to avoid sinful anger at all cost and turn to Christ.
Dealing with anger begins with dealing with our heart and our desires that flow from our heart. The goal is not to manage our anger, but to ask God to change our heart. We will need to manage the anger that is flowing out of our heart beginning now. In other words, we know that anger is sinful and we must change the behavior now. But lasting change does not come through behavior modification, pills, breathing exercises, counting, "taking five," or exhausting our anger in a padded room. We must turn to Christ alone as our hope for transformation from within. he alone can change the desires of our heart and give us victory over sinful anger.