Temptation

Temptation

Brad Anderson

The media has informed us about a spate of moral failures of late. Perhaps the most well-known is that of SC governor Mark Sanford and his adulterous relationship with an Argentinean woman. This is particularly surprising and shameful because Sanford claims to be a Christian and an ardent defender of family values. Now he’s the butt of jokes a prime example of hypocrisy for liberals to criticize.

Others have recently fallen into similar sins. Louisiana Senator David Vitter, who is married and has four children, admitted involvement with an “escort” service. Republican Senator John Ensign of Nevada, a leading conservative and potential presidential candidate, recently admitted an affair with a campaign staffer who was the wife of a close friend. John Edwards, former VP candidate, had an illicit affair while his wife was struggling with cancer. Former NFL quarterback Steve McNair was shot and killed recently, apparently by his 20-year-old girlfriend, a former waitress. McNair was 36 years old, married, and had four sons. He was known not only as a great athlete but also as a generous and caring man, an exemplary citizen. Yet he was carrying on an adulterous affair with this girl little more than half his age. McNair’s wife didn’t find out about the affair until she heard about her husband’s death.

In each of these stories, we find intelligent, talented, professional men who risked their careers and family lives for temporary pleasure. In McNair’s case, his philandering cost him his life. It remains to be seen how these adulterous affairs will affect the politicians involved. Years ago, such affairs would mean the end of their political careers (e.g., the name Gary Hart may ring a bell). Today, after 8 years of Bill Clinton as president, such affairs are mostly shrugged off and ignored by the public. People almost expect politicians to have affairs, and when they do, it’s no big deal. Personal lives and public lives are separate.

These men, and the women involved with them, gave in to temptation. Circumstances presented opportunities to them to gratify their passions and lusts, and they gave in.

Quote from Gene Lyons’ recent article: 1 [Mark Sanford] married [into] money, went into real estate, then politics. Like many South Carolina aristocrats, he’s an Episcopalian. However, like most Southern Republicans, Sanford talked like a biblical fundamentalist, piously condemning others’ sexual sins and boasting about his own righteousness. Such simple-minded certitudes often fail to survive exposure to the wider world. One dark-eyed temptress and it all comes undone.

It’s not only politicians and athletes who succumb to “dark-eyed temptresses” of the world. Self-professed Biblical fundamentalists, who piously condemn others’ sins, give in to temptation and ruin their lives as well. How many pastors have taken off with the church secretaries? How many have been ruined by pornography? E.g., Bob Gray in Florida.

None of us are beyond temptation— Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 1Co 10:12

In light of these events, I thought it might be helpful for us to consider what the Bible says about temptation and how to deal with it.

  1. Define temptation
    1. Temptation is essentially a solicitation or enticement to sin.

James 1:13-14 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

    1. The biblical word “tempt” can refer to a trial or a testing of one’s faith. E.g., God tested Abraham’s faith when he told him to sacrifice Isaac. This was a test, not a solicitation/enticement to do evil. God never tempts anyone to sin, never entices anyone to sin.
    2. I’ll be using the word “temptation” in the sense of “enticed to sin,” not in the sense of a test or trial of faith. However, every solicitation to sin is a test or trial of our faith. Not every test/trial is an enticement to sin.
  1. Facts about temptation
    1. Temptation is universal. “Every man is tempted” (James 1:14). Temptation is “common to man” (1 Cor 10:13). We live with temptations every day. Even Jesus was tempted.

We perhaps think that we live at a time when temptation is more strong or powerful than ever before. But that’s not really true. Think of society under pagan cultures—Greeks, Romans, Chinese—east Asians, etc. In some cultures, there are virtually no limitations on immorality—it’s open, blatant, and expected. E.g., temple of Aphrodite at Corinth, 1000 prostitutes; fertility religions were common.

Temptation has been common in all cultures and times. Our own western culture is rather tame compared to some others. I admit that it’s getting worse all the time. But it’s not as bad as it could be.

    1. Temptation is not sin. Jesus was “tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15). Yielding is sin.
    2. Temptation may be satanic. Satan is called “the tempter” (cf. Mt 4:3; 1 Thes 3:5). He is the father of temptation; he originated the idea.
      1. We often think of Satan tempting us, but there is only one of him, and he can be in only one place at a time.
      2. Can demons tempt us? I am unaware of any biblical text that suggests that.
      3. The emphasis in the Bible is temptation is the enticement to sin that corresponds to our own sinful nature, particularly, our desires. Satan is not involved in most instances of temptation.
      4. Nevertheless, temptation is satanic in origin.
    1. Temptation is closely associated with desire/lust. Temptation works by appealing to something inherent or organic within humanity.

Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

      1. The passions of the flesh or our appetites, in and of themselves, are not wrong. They are God-given as part of humanity. E.g., we have a natural desire to eat and to sleep. But if we eat or sleep too much, it’s sin. We have a natural desire for companionship with the opposite sex. Marriage is God’s program to fulfill that desire. If we fulfill that desire outside of marriage, it’s sinful.
      2. In our sinfulness, we tend to corrupt God’s plan or program for fulfilling our natural desires. E.g., the men I mentioned earlier were all married, yet sought to fulfill their appetites outside of marriage.
      3. Our minds have a hard time controlling the lusts of the flesh. Our appetites can become so strong that they almost bypass our minds. Once we start giving in to the flesh, our appetites have the capacity to override our common sense.

E.g., Sanford—telling everyone he was hiking in the mountains when he was down in Argentina, thinking no one would find out??? That’s just plain stupid.

E.g., Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of NY, and the former DA of NY, allegedly met regularly with “escorts” for 1.5 years before he was identified and forced to resign.

E.g., Steve McNair carrying on with this 20-year-old when he had 4 kids and a wife at home.

Ridiculous, stupid, irrational. The appetites take over and the rational mind seems to shut down.

Read Prov 7:5ff (esp. vss. 22-23)

    1. Temptation usually follows a pattern.

James 1:14-15 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

      1. The process of giving in to temptation often starts in very small ways. First we make quite minor compromises before moving on to greater and greater sins.
      2. Quote: “Nearly every grave moral failure begins with a small sin. Because there comes a time, after we toy with sin, when one pull of the flesh causes us to cross the line, to disengage from reason, and to follow our appetites wherever they may lead.” 2

E.g., King David—he merely caught a glimpse of a woman, and it led to multiple sins—adultery and murder among them.

      1. It’s very easy to toy with sin these days. With all the different media outlets providing loads of ungodly materials, you have to be very careful to avoid exposure.
      2. So flagrant sin usually starts with small compromises. You being toying with sin, entertaining sinful thoughts, indulging the flesh in small ways. Soon you can tolerate more sin, you rationalize it away, and eventually your flesh overcomes all restraint. Your fleshly appetites overwhelm your normal self-control and you indulge in blatant sin with no regard for the consequences.
  1. Strategies to overcome temptation

We know that we will face temptations daily. We know that we struggle to control our natural human appetites. We know that flagrant sin often starts with small compromises. What else do we need to know to overcome temptation?

    1. Recognize and admit your human frailties and weaknesses.
      1. Mt 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.
      2. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 1Co 10:12
      3. We may think that we are somehow beyond temptation. That’s not true. Given the right set of circumstances and pressures, we very well might give in/yield to temptation.
      4. E.g., David, the “sweet psalmist of Israel,” the great king. No one would have expected him to do what he did. But given the right set of circumstances, he sinned grievously.
    2. Rely on God’s strength and the resources He provides. 1 Cor 10:13
      1. “God is faithful”
        1. The solution to the problem is God. God provides all the resources we need to overcome temptation.
        2. It follows, then, that the solution is not within ourselves. It’s not merely a matter of will power or self-control. We must bring God into the equation. We must rely on His power to get us thru temptations.
      2. God has promised not to allow temptations beyond our ability to withstand it. I.e., we are not victims. We can’t claim that we had no choice—“I was overwhelmed; I couldn’t control myself.” Not true.
        1. Remember that “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil 4:13).
        2. Contrary to what some people tell us, we are not mere animals who must follow our instincts. With God’s help, we can control ourselves. Self-control is one of the fruit of the Spirit.
      3. God will provide a way to escape or a way to bear with the temptation.
        1. Escape is a good strategy for dealing with temptation. “Flee youthful lusts” (James 4:7). E.g., Joseph ran away from Pot’s wife.

E.g., How Steve McNair should have reacted: met this waitress at a restaurant, finds her attractive and interesting, feels his lust kick in. What should he have done? Leave the place and never come back. He should not have entertained the idea in his mind.

        1. Sometimes we can’t escape from temptations. We can’t flee from some circumstances. And I admit that persevering under a long-standing temptation is very difficult. But it’s not impossible.

Jas 1:12 Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Ge 39:10 And it came to pass, as [Potiphar’s wife] spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, [or] to be with her.

    1. Pray.
      1. Mt 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.
      2. It’s not impossible, but it’s pretty hard to yield to temptation immediately after you’ve prayed and asked God to help you resist temptation.
    1. Resist. James 4:7
      1. Resist means, “To set one’s self against, to withstand, to oppose.”
      2. It suggests active opposition, not merely holding steady.

Illus.: think of a tug of war (not a perfect analogy, but close) —you don’t merely stand steady; that’s not the goal. You pull in the opposite direction.

      1. Similarly, in a temptation, we actively resist and oppose the devil. We pull back—oppose, not merely try to hold steady.
    1. Consider the consequences of giving in to temptation.
      1. If you are tempted by a piece of pie, the consequences of eating it will likely be rather minor—perhaps an extra pound or two.
      2. If you are tempted to steal something, the consequences may be rather significant.
      3. If you are tempted to commit adultery, the consequences may be monumental. Read Prov 5:3-5, 9-11, 21-23
      4. What were the consequences for David?
        1. Child died.
        2. Trouble in his family the rest of his life; i.e., misery and sorrow.
        3. Worst consequence: 2 Sam 12:14 by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, …

The enemies of God have a field day when self-proclaimed conservatives and Christians fall into sin. That’s exactly what the liberal media has done to Sanford.

      1. What were the consequences for Eliot Spitzer? Lost his job as governor, potentially a bid for the presidency. Sanford was thought of as a presidential contender; no more.
      2. The appeal of the fleshly passions is so strong that a person is often willing to sacrifice virtually everything to fulfill that desire. If you give yourself over to fulfilling the desires of the flesh, you eventually lose self-control.
    1. Fill your mind with the Word of God.

Ps 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed [thereto] according to thy word.

Ps 119:11 ¶ Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Jesus provides a good example for us. When Satan tempted Jesus, how did he respond? “It is written…” (Mt 4:1f)

    1. Fulfill your appetites in appropriate ways.
      1. God has provided proper means of fulfilling our passions and desires. The Bible gives us full permission to fulfill those desires in proper ways.
      2. Unfortunately, the human heart has almost infinite capacities for sin, so even if you are seeking to fulfill your desires legitimately, it does not shield you completely from temptations. But it certainly helps.
      3. E.g., Prov 5:15-18
      4. E.g., what should David have done after lusting over Bathsheba? I don’t want to be crass here, but he could have called one of his wives; he easily could have expressed his physical desire legitimately with a woman he was already married to.
    2. Take practical steps to protect yourself.
      1. Seek an accountability partner. Cf. Prov 13:20
      2. Be careful who you spend time with. “Friends” can be a significant source of temptation.
        1. Prov 1:10 “If sinners entice thee…”
        2. 1Co 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
      3. Install safeguards like Internet filters and/or cable TV controls. Disconnect the cable at hotels.
      4. Keep yourself occupied. “Idol hands are the devil’s workshop.”
      5. Stay away from things that excite your lustful passions. E.g., the magazine rack in the book store, the TV, the computer, etc. cf. Prov 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence…”
      6. Be sensitive about sin; don’t compromise or toy with it; don’t rationalize it or excuse it.
      7. If you do fall into sin, respond appropriately: confess the sin, forsake it, make amends for it if necessary, and put safeguards into place so you don’t give into temptation like that again.

Conc: We live in a world that is full of temptations. Dark-eyed temptresses abound, enticing us with the prospect of forbidden pleasures. Yet we must not give in to temptation. We must remember that “God is faithful” and he will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear.

  1. Gene Lyons, “Hypocrisy All Around,” July 2, 2009
  2. Chuck Colson, BreakPoint Commentaries, “The Bewilderment of Sin,” 6/26/2009.

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

One of life’s toughest issues to deal with is explaining why bad things happen to good people. Think of some “bad” things that have happened to “good” people who you know.

Why is this such a dilemma? What questions arise? [How can a good, all-powerful God allow such things to happen to His people? Does God care? Why doesn’t He do something? Technical name for this is “theodicy.”]

Several initial truths to keep in mind:

  1. One may never understand the reason or purpose behind bad circumstances. However, believers should take comfort in the fact that God is sovereign and has a purpose for what He is doing. C.f., Isa 55:8-9.

  2. Bad things happen indiscriminately to both the wicked and the good. There is not necessarily a direct relationship between bad circumstances and sin or lack of faith. Sickness, death, and problems are not an accurate reflection of a person’s spirituality. See Job 1:21

  3. Beware of “health and wealth” theology, which asserts that faithful believers will not experience illness, financial setbacks, or other difficulties.

The Bible gives us several Reasons Why Bad Things Happen to Good People:

I. Bad circumstances are the result of original sin.

  1. We live in a sin-cursed world. Thus, we are subject to suffering and death. The earth itself is under the curse. Gen. 3:14-19
  2. Sin is an unfortunate part of life for all of us. None of us is good. Rom. 3:10, 23
  3. Even faithful believers may be afflicted. Heb. 11:36-37

II. Bad circumstances may be a means of testing an individual. Rom 5:3-5

  1. Job experienced testing. Job 23:10
  2. Paul experienced testing. 2 Cor. 12:7
  3. All Christians will experience testing. 1 Pet 1:7

Question: For whose benefit is the testing? [The person’s.]

III. Bad circumstances may be used by God to display His power and grace.

  1. 2 Cor. 12:8-10
  2. John 9:3
  3. Who are some other examples? [Joni, Eliz. Elliot, martyrs.]

IV. Bad circumstances may be a form of chastening.

  1. 1 Cor. 11:29-30 Sickness and death may be due to improper attitude toward God
  2. Acts 5:1-5 Death may be due to lying to God. C.f., 1 Jn 5
  3. Heb. 12:7 All errant believers receive chastening.

V. Bad circumstances may be due to the natural consequences of personal sin.

  1. A. Gal. 6:7-8 Problems are the natural result of sin. Rom 6:23 says that sin has wages or penalties. What are some examples? [AIDS, sexual disease, drinking, drugs, stealing, lying, etc.]
  2. B. 1 Cor. 3:17 Problems may be the result of defiling the temple of God (your body). How does one defile (corrupt, ruin) his body? [Sex sins, drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc.]
  3. There is often a direct connection between sinful behavior and negative circumstances. What do the following verses say about sin and its results?
  • Psalm 1:6 the way of the ungodly shall perish.
  • Psalm 146:9 the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.
  • Proverbs 4:19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.
  • Proverbs 11:6 transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.
  • Proverbs 13:15 the way of transgressors is hard.

VI. Bad circumstances may be from Satan. Luke 13:11-16; Job 1:12

Conclusions:

Problems, evil, and bad circumstances may be due to original sin, may be used by God to test a person, may be a means to display God’s power and grace, may be a form of chastening, may be a result of sin, or may even come from Satan himself.

Keeping a Pure Mind


KEEPING A PURE MIND

(from MacArthur’s The Vanishing Conscience)

The Bible clearly teaches that sin goes beyond behavior. Sinful behavior always starts with sinful thinking in the mind. Someone may think that as long as his thoughts are not acted out he has not sinned, or that sins of the mind are not as bad as sins acted out. This is not true. Lust itself is sinful, as is greed, covetousness (note Commandment #10), pride and hatred. In fact, thoughts and fantasies can be just as sinful as sinful deeds.

Texts: Matt 5:21-22, 27-28; 15:18-19; 23:25-28

If you want to progress in sanctification, start by controlling your thought-life. Controlling your thoughts is extremely important; your thoughts are the frontlines of the battle for holiness. Remember that evil deeds are the offspring of evil thoughts.

How does one sin with his mind?

  1. Sins of remembering: remembering, cherishing, or mentally reliving past sins. Sin has a way of impressing itself on your memory. When you bring back and think about past sin, you repeat the sin. [This is one reason porn is so destructive: once you implant an image in you brain, it’s easy to bring it back up and difficult to forget it. It’s not just images, either. Sinful/explicit dialogue and stories are the same. Often our imaginations fill in more explicitly than a pix would. This is one reason we need to stay away from such material. If it never gets into your brain, you’ll never remember it.]
  2. Sins of scheming or plotting: planning sinful actions is sin. Ps 36:1-4; Prov 15:26, 24:8-9 Those who plot evil actions reveal the wickedness filling their hearts. Even if the plans never are acted out, God condemns the sinful thoughts.
  3. Sins of imagining: fantasizing about sinful activity. This is what Jesus referred to in Mt 5:28. Even if you don’t plan on acting out the thoughts, if you imagine it, you’ve sinned and you’re guilty. [Imagination is usually far worse than that which we’d actually do. Eg., comments of guys at Patio when a good-looking woman comes in. ]

How to Deal with Evil Thoughts

  1. Confess and forsake known sin (Isa 55:7). If you are guilty of mental sins, repent of it and ask forgiveness. Don’t downplay the sinfulness of evil thoughts. Remember that God knows your thoughts (Ps 139:2-4). God hates this sin as much as any other.

  2. Refuse to entertain sinful thoughts. Who controls what you think about? You do. Don’t let yourself dwell on sinful images or ideas. Don’t read books, look at images, or listen to music that generate sinful thoughts or tempt you to indulge in them (Job 31:1). Stay away from things that tempt you in this way. Guard your thoughts. This requires discernment: the ability to evaluate something before giving or withholding approval. E.g., lots of bad stuff on the internet, most easily accessible. If you can’t handle the temptation, stay away from it.]

  3. Focus on the right kind of thoughts (Phil 4:8). Soak your mind with true, valuable, honorable, and pure information. Replace the bad with the good. [Many sources: Bible, classic novels, good magazines, some TV shows, etc. Unfortunately, replacement doesn’t get rid of the bad stuff.]

  4. Feed on the Word (Ps 119:11). The Word strengthens and insulates your mind. It also reveals your sin and shows you the right way to go.

  5. Get accountable. If you find you have difficulty with this on your own, find someone you can check in with occasionally who will help you keep you mind on the right track.

Conclusion: Sin always starts in the mind. You are in control of what you think about. Determine to think about the right things. Don’t fill your mind with trash. When you do commit mental sins, repent of it and determine not to let it happen again.

Envy / Jealousy

Envy / Jealousy

How would you define envy? Write your definition here.

“a sense of discontentment or jealousy with regard to another’s success or possessions; an inordinate desire to have [something] possessed by another.”

Why do some people envy other people?

Do you ever envy other people? Why? Why not?

Psalm 73 tells us that envy is a process. It is the result of a series of events.

[Break into 3 groups and work on the following. Fill in the blanks first.]

  1. Notice how well others are doing in comparison with yourself. List areas of which we could be envious of others from Psalm 73:1-5
    .3 prosperity–wealth, house, car, boat, pool, things
    .4 strong–do what they want, power, control, respected
    .5 no trouble, no plague–everything going fine, easy, no problems
    [.12 carefree, wealthy]
  2. Notice that other people are ungodly and it does not seem to affect them. What are some characteristics of the ungodly listed in Ps. 73:6-12
    .6 pride, violence
    .7 evil thoughts, callous (hard) hearts
    .8 speak wickedly (bad language, cursing), scoff, arrogant, make threats
    .9 boastful about their attitude.
    .11 question if God exists, live as though He does not
  3. Complain about the requirements of your faith. Paraphrase what the psalmist says in verses 13-16.
    .13 I have lived a godly life for nothing. It is useless to be a Christian.
    .14 I am always punished for my sin
    .15 If I talk about this to others, the people will doubt God. I.e., I can’t even talk about this situation.
    .16 I cannot understand why the wicked do what they want and seem to prosper, while I try to do right and am punished for it.

Envy is a process. So is the cure to envy.

1. Change your point of view. .17a

Instead of looking at others from your viewpoint, try seeing people as God does. He is not interested or impressed by their wealth or prosperity. He sees the wicked as sinners on their way to Hell.

2. Understand the truth of the situation. .17b-20 List the future for ungodly people.

.18a slippery places

.18b destruction, ruin

.19 desolation, swept away by terrors

.20 despised by God. [“God is angry with the wicked every day.” Cf John 3.36]

3. Realize that it is stupid to envy the wicked. .21-22 [There are lots of bad things that will happen to the wicked. They are in deep trouble. cf Prov 3:33]

4. Find contentment in God and what He provides. .23-28 List the blessings God has for those who trust Him. Can the ungodly count on these blessings?

.23 God is always with me and holds me up.

.24 God will guide me and receive me to glory.

.25 The only One who matters is God, and He is the One who takes care of me.

.26 God is my strength and portion forever even tho I may be weak.

.28 Good to draw near to God. Tell others what you found out so they won’t repeat your mistake.

Conclusion about envy:

  1. It is unwise to compare yourself and your situation to others and their situations. 2 Cor. 10:12
  2. Envy is sin. 1 Cor. 3:3, James 3:16
  3. Be content with what you have. Heb. 13:5-6
  4. Psalm 73:25-28 [try to view things from God’s perspective.]

Anger: Be Angry and Do Not Sin

Be Angry and Do Not Sin Eph. 4:26

Describe below the worst trouble anger ever got you into.

What does the Bible say about ANGER ?

  • Anger itself is not sinful. Like any emotion, anger can become destructive if we do not express it biblically.
    • God gets angry. Ex 22:24; Ps 7:11
    • Jesus got angry. Mt 21:12; Mk 3:5; Jn 2:13-17
    • Believers may get angry. Eph 4:26 [righteous indignation: anger against sin, evil, immorality, injustice, blasphemy, etc.]
    • The energy of anger can be beneficial. 1 Sam 11:6 7, 17:26, 50
  • Anger becomes sinful in two ways: [sinful anger is self-centered, concerned with what happened to me. Based on pride and self-pity. ]
    • By venting it    “blowing up,” rage, tantrum. The energies of anger are vented on others. [This is how murder happens. Mt 5:21-22 ]
    • By keeping it – holding on to the emotion, allowing it to linger, not dealing with it correctly. Anger kept inside leads to bitterness, hatred and a negative attitude.
  • Common results of Anger:
    • Hatred and Murder Gen. 4:5 8
    • Bad attitude
    • Assault Num 22:27
    • Pouting 1 Kings 21:4
    • Stupidity Prov 14:17; Ecc 7:9
  • What to do about Anger:
    • Deal with it correctly.
      • Recognize the emotion and the potential for damage.
      • Try to discern the cause of your anger. It is legitimate? If not, simply refuse to be angry. Let it slide. Don’t worry about it.
      • Do not let it simmer. This leads to bitterness and hatred. [Our text indicates that we should deal with it quickly. Anger tends to grow and fester. Even righteous anger can lead to sinful anger and acts. Get rid of it. ]
      • Do not let it explode. This hurts others and yourself.
      • Confess your sin and make restitution (if you need to).
      • THERE IS NO NEED TO LET EVERYONE ELSE KNOW THAT YOU ARE ANGRY.
      • Re direct it. Channel the power of the emotion into a solution of the problem.
      •    Be solution oriented. Can you solve the problem? Maybe there is nothing you can do. If you have no power to solve the problem, it does no good to be angry. [E.g., you had your heart set on going to a friend’s house, but at the last minute your folks plan something else. ]
      •    Direct the energy into solving the problem. [Anger is powerful. Perhaps you can come up with a solution that would please all parties involved.]
      • Focus on the problem, not on people . [Don’t jump on others just because you didn’t get your way. ] .
      • Don’t try to pay back the one who caused the problem. God is the judge; He will repay. [ Read Rom 12:17-21 This is very difficult. E.g., playing basketball and a player keeps riding you, giving you a hard time. Easy to vent your anger on the guy. Problem is that you will get called for the penalty, which makes you even more angry. ]

Conclusion: Anger is a natural emotion. How we handle our anger may be sinful or proper. Next time you get angry, think about what we studied today and try to respond biblically.