To Watch the Video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/SHIzZGt8IQ0
Welcome to a new week of the Hope Rescue Podcast. This week Tim wraps up our nine part series on mental health. We have enjoyed discussing this important topic over the last couple months, and if you have any questions regarding a topic we covered please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you missed the past episodes in this series, we have provided a breakdown so you don’t miss out:
Episode 70: Can a Christian Suffer from Anxiety?
Episode 71: Simple Habits that Calm Anxiety
Episode 72: The Only Way to Master Your Emotions
Episode 73: Can God Soften a Hard Heart?
Episode 74: Can People Really Change?
Episode 75: The Best Weapon Against the Enemy's Lies
Episode 76: The Two Emotions that Drive Our Lives
Episode 77: Three Steps to Overcome Fear
Don’t forget you can watch the podcast live on YouTube or listen through your favorite podcasting app. Now let’s get into this week’s discussion: Is anger a sin?
Tim starts by defining two types of anger: reactive anger and residual anger. Reactive anger occurs in a moment as a response to a provocation, but residual anger stems from holding onto something from one situation and allowing it to seep into another situation. Anger also has two directions: outward and inward. Outward anger is directed at other people, while inward anger is directed at ourselves.
In the book of Ephesians we can find seven different forms of anger: provocation, personalized anger, bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander and malice coupled together.”
Ephesians 4:26-27 says, "Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil." You can be angry or provoked by something and not sin. Provocation is the first type of anger, and it is the natural human response to an irritation. Anger becomes sin when we personalize the anger. Tim says, “When we take ownership of our anger instead of resolving it, we allow satan an advantage in our lives.” Ephesians later says in verse 31, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” How do we deal with all these different forms of anger trying to manifest in our lives? Just as the problem is in scripture, so is the solution. If we continue in Ephesians, verse 32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Three actions: be kind, be tenderhearted, and forgive.
Even if a person has not apologized for hurting or offending us, we can still proceed with acts of kindness. There is something redeemable about every person, and even if it is dangerous to physically interact with someone who has hurt us in the past, we can always speak words of kindness over people. When we speak well of someone who has offended us, it changes that person from being an object of our hatred to a human being.
Next, the word "tenderhearted" means to commiserate with a person. Take time to try to understand why they acted the way they did in the first place. Tim explains that when he was younger, his father was a tough disciplinarian. His father’s discipline tactics lead Tim to struggle with some of the things his father had done. Eventually, Tim took the time to understand his father on a deeper level and question why he acted the way he did. He discovered that not only was his father raised in a similar fashion, but also that his father likely suffered from PTSD from World War II. When we take time to understand someone who has hurt us, it helps us to stop personalizing their behavior and actually sympathise with him or her.
Lastly, we are to forgive as Christ forgave us. Tim says the easiest way to forgive someone is to remember the last time we needed forgiveness from God. It’s daily, and He always graciously gives it to us.
Tim closes with a practical acronym to help us remember how to stop anger from developing into sin: S.T.O.P.
S: Step Back. Take a step back and ask yourself how to appropriately respond to this situation. Figure out what you are afraid of before letting your anger spiral out of control.
T: Think. Think about what you are actually feeling. Ask yourself: Why is this situation making me angry? What fear is driving my anger?
O: Orient. Orient to what you really want. If you are angry because of a conversation you are having, what do you want to come of the conversation? What would be the ultimate solution? How would you like the conversation to end?
P: Put your provocation in perspective. Put this moment of anger in the perspective of an entire lifetime. Ask yourself: “How will I feel about this moment ten years from now?”
When we let anger sit over time, we take ownership of it which manifests the six other types of anger listed in Ephesians 4:31. These types of anger are damaging to our soul and to our mental health. If we repeatedly follow the steps outlined in Ephesians to counter our anger, we will feel a shift in our hearts and anger will no longer have a hold in our lives.
“When we take ownership of our anger instead of resolving it, we allow satan an advantage in our lives.” -Tim
“The easiest way to forgive someone is to remember the last time we needed forgiveness from God.” -Tim
Ephesians 4:26-32 "Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."