Presentation on theme: "Divorce Recovery Lesson 6: Anger But I Don’t Have What I Want."— Presentation transcript:
Divorce Recovery Lesson 6: Anger But I Don’t Have What I Want
The Universal Problem Anger is a universal problem that everyone struggles with. You cannot decide to be angry. Anger can be triggered by a memory, someone’s behavior, a conversation, a phone call, or a letter. It can cause your heart to beat faster, make you sweat, tense up your muscles, foul up your digestive system, alter the way you think, dictate how you act, and trigger words from your mouth. There is almost universal agreement that anger must be tamed.
Shut Down Jesus never let sorrow prevent Him from fulfilling any of His responsibilities. He never let sorrow to become so great that it totally shut Him down. Read John 12:27, “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? “Father, save Me from this hour?” But for this purpose I came to this hour.”
Sleeping From Sorrow The disciples were exhausted as a result of their sorrow. Jesus admonished them for sleeping and commanded them to get back to work. When faced with any loss, it is normal for us to grieve. Solomon once said, “Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better,” (Eccl. 7:3).
Don’t Get Overpowered The danger comes when we allow our grief to become so great that it overpowers other things in our lives that God says we ought not to let slip. We can allow sorrow to fill our lives to such an extent that we stop thinking about those things that generate love, joy, peace, or any other element of the Spirit’s fruit. Don’t let your sorrow quench the Spirit’s work in our lives. Be careful that you don’t grieve so much that you can’t fulfill your biblical responsibilities.
Who Is In Control? Rather than allow our sorrow to control us, we should continue to be controlled by the Spirit. As Eph. 5:18 says, be filled with the Spirit, which is to be controlled by the Spirit. To be filled with sorrow is be controlled by sorrow.
What If? What if you am being controlled by sorrow? What if you have allowed your heart to be filled, or almost filled, with sorrow to the point that you’re shutting down mentally and emotionally? By the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, you will have to work hard at getting your sorrow back down to a manageable level.
The Way Out First, think the kinds of thoughts that will generate the right kinds of feelings. The grid for your thinking is Phil. 4:8. “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy think on these things.”
Stop and Start Stop thinking about what you’ve lost. Start thinking about how God may be using your loss to benefit you. Stop thinking about how miserable you are. Start thinking about how you can make someone else happy. Stop worrying about what will happen to you tomorrow. Start to figure out how you can be a blessing to someone today. Stop grumbling and complaining. Start praising God for all things He has done for you.
Be Responsible Get your sorrow under control by fulfilling your biblical responsibilities. Get involved in ministering to others; yes you can do this even if your heart is sorrowful. If will not be easy, it won’t be fun, but in time, your mind will be occupied with more noble thoughts than your own grief. The satisfaction that comes from being responsible and the joy that comes from serving others will begin to refill your heart as it displaces your superfluous grief.
Rejection Rejection’s Response − How do you usually respond when you are rejected or hurt? − Each of us desires certain intangible expressions of love such as respect, appreciation, approval, praise, and commendation. − The Bible assumes that each of us naturally finds a certain measure of delight in these things. − The problem occurs, however, when we delight in them too much.
Is It Sin? Ask yourself, “Did this person really sin against me?” If a person has sinned against you, there are two options available to you. You may choose to overlook it or cover it in love, (Prov. 17:9; I Peter 4:8). If you are unable to overlook it, follow Luke 17:3. “If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.” This causes you to pursue your offender with the intent of granting him/her forgiveness when he/she acknowledges his/her sin. If you are offended as the result of that which was not a sin, you must repent of your unbiblical thinking which caused you to be too easily offended.
Rejection Responses Bitterness You may think of the word bitterness as an inward resentment or unforgiving spirit, and so it is. This inward attitude has a tendency to affect those around you.
Results Bitterness is the result of not forgiving others. If you are bitter at your ex, it is an indication that you haven’t truly forgiven him/her.
Wrath Eph. 4:31 says, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” The second response you see to rejection is wrath. Wrath has a broad range of meaning. Its most basic meaning has to do with “a vital force.” It is heated, passionate, furious anger that quickly boils up and almost as quickly subsides.
Anger Rejection can cause anger, it has two basic meanings. It is an upsurge of emotion that sometimes manifests itself in impulsive actions, especially the vindictive and punitive types. It is also an inner disposition that produces impulsivity, intense passionate outward expressions of displeasure. It is much easier to act impulsively right after being hurt or rejected by others than it is in more affable circumstances. This intense passion that can result from wrong thinking in response to the offense can be quite powerful and destructive.
The Condition Of Your Soul There is also the kind of anger that is less volatile and less episodic but more enduring in nature. This is a state of mind or a condition of the soul.
Clamor The person who clamors is griping, complaining, and making noise in an agitated sort of way. We often call these folks instigators. The book of Acts 19:23-29 provides a wonderful illustration of this.
Slander This word combines the concept of hurt, injury, or harm with speech. This term involves speech that is abusive, defaming, or harmful to another’s good name. It is used to describe the strongest form of mockery.
Where Are You? What have you told others about your ex? Have you been guilty of clamor or gossip? I realize your ex-spouse may have done you much wrong. May you not respond in the same way. Read with me how the apostle Peter calls us to respond, look up I Peter 3:8-11.
Malice This word means hatred, resentment, ill feeling, ill will, and the desire to injure. Malice holds grudges. If you’re holding something against your ex or somehow “have it in for” him/her you may be flirting with malice.
A Faulty Perception of Anger Most people say, “My anger is a normal and justifiable response to the way I was treated.” Seldom does a person think about the possibility of anger being sin in their hearts.
What Does The Bible Say About Anger? Most people will argue that they have a right to be angry. They will be heard saying, “Under my circumstances, can you blame me? My anger is completely justified. If you were in my place, wouldn’t you be angry?” As long as they argue in defense of their anger they will not see any need nor have any desire to change, and be delivered from their unhappiness or anger.
Do Not Sin Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be angry and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your anger.” You might say, “See this verse means that my anger is not sin.” Galatians 5:16 states clearly that people who walk in the Spirit need not struggle with anger, which is an act of the sinful nature. There is no human remedy. Only God can cleanse your heart.
Anger To Love How can a human being change from responding in anger to responding in love? We know that to bottle up or swallow anger is not the solution. That will only ruin your health and twist your thinking. You would become a walking time bomb, set to explode at the slightest provocation. The Bible offers a radical solution: “Put it away. Stop it.” It will take a miracle, you need supernatural help.
Why Do You Fight? You fight for one reason: because you don’t get what you want. You fight because you desire, what pleases or displeases you, what you long for and crave is not being met. Our cravings rule our lives; they directly compete with God Himself for Lordship. Our desire becomes deeply rooted, hence we fight and wage war. We would act as peacemakers if we obeyed the Lord instead of asserting our desires.
Who Are You When You Judge? Combatants don’t see the real problem. We judge others, criticize, nit-pick, nag, attack, condemn, because we literally play God. When you and I fight, our minds become filled with accusations: your wrongs and my rights preoccupy me. We play the self-righteous judge in the mini- kingdoms we establish: “You are so stupid, cruel, insensitive, and selfish. You’ve gotten in my way. You don’t get it. You are a hindrance to my agenda.”
What Is An Argument? In an argument you offend me by crossing my will. I respond by telling you of all your offenses. At the same time, I explain to you how all of my failings are really your fault. If only you were different, I wouldn’t be the way I am. You do the same thing to me, telling me all of my sins and excusing your own. Nowhere in the heat of conflict does anyone confess his own sins, except as a way to buy time for a counterattack.
Change Recognize Anger as Sin Strife, malice, hatred, anger, outbursts of wrath, dissension, and contention are works of the flesh –the sinful nature, (see Galatians 5:19-21; Colossians 3:8). These things are sin, and that’s good news, because there is a divine solution for sin. God promises to help you, dealing with sin is His specialty. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12, NIV).
Replace Anger with Godly Emotions (Eph. 4:32) And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. To find God’s solution to conflicts, You must ask and answer the questions, “What do I want?” “How am I playing God in asserting my will?”
Clean Hearts When you have to forgive and clean your heart you can ask God for the power of the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of the Spirit in your life, (Galatians 5:22-23): love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Ruling Wants What’s wrong with what I want? Scripture, the Holy Spirit’s X-ray of the heart, makes it clear that when such desires rule the heart, they produce sin and love. God sees into the heart of conflict. God sees the private kingdom we each create. We each ascend to the throne, making our desires for blessing into the will of a god; I crave, I need, this must be.
The Object of a Person’s Desire Often it is not the object of a person’s desire that is the problem; it is the encampment that corrupts. There is nothing wrong per se with wanting. When I want something too much, so that it rules you, then you find yourself in sin. When your expectations dig in, you inevitably sin against each other. “I’ve gotta have it. It’s mine. I demand my rights. I need you to meet my needs. You’re getting in the way of my cherished longings. You’re not meeting my expectations.”
The Vertical Sins Offenses against God James 3:13-4:12 gives them blunt labels--bad zeal, selfish ambition, pleasures, lusts, envy, adultery against God or in other words idolatry. Still more words are used, love of the world, pride, double-mindedness, and playing God.
Who Is On The Throne We are meant to live with God on the throne of our hearts, with a wide open heart to Him and others. A contentious, judgmental person has a shriveled up heart, becoming closed and hard both to God and neighbor. In attempting to ascend to the throne of judgment and control reserved for God, we can become perverted, corrupted, polluted, and in fact like Satan.
The Image God Intends God intends for us to become bearers of mercy, redemption, and to aid others. What happens when we begin to see the significance and scope of our inner being and it’s dimension of conflict? − We are brought up short. − We are humbled for specific sins before the face of God. − God who searches our hearts catches us by the collar and makes us look in the mirror. No wiggling away.
Pursuing Grace James 4:6 makes a promise God gives more grace. God gives greater grace. God gives grace to the humble. Grace is greater than sin. - When we admit the truth, that we are sinners, we find amazing grace in Jesus: forgiveness, mercy, sanity, a fresh start, cleansing power, and finally freedom. - Every facet of the grace of God is tailored to cleanse and renew angry, critical, fearful, proud people.
What Must You Do? You must seek God in repentant faith. Submit to God and resist the devil. Draw nearer to God. The devil will flee and God will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands from the outward expressions of sin, the chaos and every evil practice, the quarrels and conflicts, the speaking against one another. Purify your heart from the inward defections, the double mindedness that professes God on the one hand and serves self on the other. Grieve over what you have done. Humble yourself in the presence of God.