Focus: Burying anger
Colossians 3:8 (NKJV) But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
If you’re still having trouble with anger and not finding the strength to avoid outbursts and thoughts that are of an angry nature, you’re not being hard enough on your flesh.
In Colossians chapters two and three, some practical points are given that relate to the concept of being dead to ourselves and alive in Christ. Several things are listed that we are told we should ‘die to’ and ‘put off’. One of those things is anger.
If we think about anger and its negative effects on our relationships and our own personal peace, there should be no reason why anyone would want to cultivate it. The word ‘cultivate’ suggests encouragement and growth—even enablement.
If anger is something we are told in the Word of God to dispose of—yet we are harboring it—we have held something back from the altar. If we have at some time said or sung, “All to Jesus, I surrender, all to Him I freely give”—yet we have held onto anger, then we lied.
‘Anger’ can be a sin. It can be a defect in our character that we make excuses for and try to justify and defend. People sometimes claim to be angry about things that are unrighteous or the unrighteous acts of others. It can appear to be a holy kind of attitude, but the Bible says not to judge. It says to let God be the righteous vindicator and the righteous judge. People get ‘being angry’ confused with ‘being righteous’. So, even when we think it’s okay to have righteous indignation—we should be careful that what we are feeling isn’t the result of being ‘judgmental’.
If we become angry about something, we should stop and trace the ancestry of our anger—being willing to spend some time figuring out where the anger came from. Often the root of our anger isn’t even a distant relative of righteousness. More often than not, anger is closely related to selfishness.
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People conveniently ‘classify’ anger as though it is something more acceptable than sin. They may call it a condition or a disorder or any number of things other than sin. Anger isn’t a ‘condition’ or a ‘disorder’. When anger relates to a judgment we have made and consequently reacted to in an unholy manner, it is willful disobedience to the Word of God. If we have been told to put anger off, then we shouldn’t be putting it on whenever we think we have a right or reason to do so.
Colossians 3:12-17 says, “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body, and be thankful.
Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father through Him.” (NKJV)
Anger can be a destructive roadblock to a full and lasting recovery from depression and dependency. You can’t make a place for anger in your life without alienating someone who you should be willing to forgive, release, and bless.
Being alive in Christ means completely putting away all of our old behavior and the wrong habits of our sinful nature. Burying that behavior and those habits should be part of the ceremony. If you picture yourself digging a hole and throwing anger into the hole and burying it, how would you then go back to something that is supposed to be dead and dig it up so you could bring it back to life? Making the decision to bury anger is something God will help you do. Search your heart and soul right now for any remains of it in your life and throw it in the hole. See yourself burying anger and leaving it behind, once and for all.
Declaration: I will find new strength by burying my anger. As I let go of the remains of my anger, I will be able to make better progress. The part of me that had not fully died to anger will now be newly resurrected in Christ.
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