This post is not easy to write. Confession never is easy. I struggle with anger. I don’t want it in my life but sometimes (more than I want to admit) it just spews forth like acid. Anger is described in the Bible as a work of the flesh which is the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit. The word “anger” in Galatians 5:20 is translated in various Bible versions as. . .

  • wrath (KJV)
  • outbursts of anger (NLT; NASB)
  • a brutal temper (The Message)
  • fits of rage (NIV)

I’m responsible for my anger.

Anger is a work of my flesh. It is something I do. I produce it. It is not something that the Spirit of God produces in me. I know some of you want to jump to the topic of “righteous anger” or ask, “Isn’t anger sometimes appropriate?” But let’s not get off the subject. The emphasis here is on outbursts of anger, wrath, a brutal temper, fits of rage. All this comes from me.

When I fill my basket with anger, it negates all the fruit of the Spirit . . .

  • anger – love
  • anger – joy
  • anger – peace
  • anger – patience
  • anger – kindness
  • anger – goodness
  • anger – faithfulness
  • anger – gentleness
  • anger – self-control

Anger bursts forth in my life when I don’t give the Spirit control. Fits of rage erupt when I get out of step with the Spirit.

How do I get anger out of my basket?

  1. Remember my true identity in Christ
  2. Rely on the power of Christ who lives in me
  3. Focus on the actions that are part of my identity in Christ not on the actions of my old life
  4. Walk in line with who I am – not who I used to be

Here are the scriptural bookends on each side of the works of the flesh:

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. (Galatians 5:16 – NLT)

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:24-25 – NLT

    I plan to do a few more posts on the topic of anger. Do you have any thoughts on the direction these posts might take?

    Grace and Peace,

    Terry

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