Earp Takes Aim | Faith, Culture, Life

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Who are you mad at?

“Do not lie to each other…[cuz] you have taken off that old self.”[6]  But even more, because Jesus was “full of…truth.”[7]  And if it really is God’s goal for us that we become more and more like Jesus, then we gotta “put off falsehood…[put on] the truth.”[8]

Another item we gotta put off, that was a part of the list we saw last week is  “anger.”  Now this isn’t a blanket prohibition against ever being angry.  I mean, even Jesus got angry.[1]

The point is, when you were living in your old self, you would SIN when you got angry.  But “since you have been raised with Christ,” you need to positively reflect the “new self” God is making you to be.  You’ll still get angry, but you won’t SIN IN your anger. 

Over in Ephesians, Paul actually says, “Go ahead and BE angry!”  Experience the emotion!  Feel what created you to feel!  It’s just, well:  “In your anger, do not sin.”[2]

Paul says, “Being angry isn’t the problem.  It’s what you DO when you’re angry.  That’s the problem.”  And if you’re still living as your OLD self, you’ll sin all overt the place when you get angry.  For example, Paul says, “You’ll store up your anger.  You’ll allow Satan to set up camp in an angry spirit that builds and magnifies and blows the whole initial problem WAY outta proportion!”

Maybe you’ll explode in a rage.

Or…maybe you’ll turn it inward and beat yourself up in angry shame.

Maybe you’ hold a grudge and pout.

Or maybe you’ll become slanderous, use your tongue as a verbal wrecking ball to destroy someone who tried to destroy you. 

But if you have been raised with Christ, you gotta put that garbage off.  Oh, you’ll still get angry.  Maybe even royally ticked off at times.  But here’s what your new self won’t do: 

You won’t deny it…discount it…or drive it underground. 

Neither will you store it up and nurse it and curse it and rehearse it over and over again till finally, Satan takes a match to that parched pile of timber you’ve gathered— and kerblooey! 

Bodies fly everywhere.  Words are spoken that will never be forgotten.  Relationships are destroyed when they could’ve been restored. 

No, you’ll still be angry, but you won’t “sin.”[3]

Which means, among other things, you’ll “put on” expressing your angry SOON so it doesn’t go BOOM!  You deal with it NOW so it doesn’t grow any larger than it already is.   In fact, “before the sun goes down,”[4] Paul says. 

And you’ll take your anger to the right person— and never rage to uninvolved parties.  In fact, if you do angry right— nobody will even know there’s a problem— cuz you took it directly and immediately to the other person involved.  And that’s where anger ends!  And how, in your “new self” you don’t allow your anger to “give the devil a foothold.”[5]

A woman came to see me, in a former ministry, and she said, “I am very angry, but I wanna handle this the right way.” 

I said, “I commend you for that.  Tell me about your anger.”

She said, “Someone has let me down and I’m so angry I’m tempted to just rage and do all kinds of sinful stuff.  But I’ve been praying about it and I really wanna handle this right and honor God with my behavior.”

I said, “I’m proud of you.  So how can I help?  Who are you mad at?”

“You.”   WHOA!  

Well that kinda ticked me off, but I said, “Well, tell me how I made you angry.”

She explained the situation; then I explained where I was coming from and why I did what I did.  And by the time we talked it through, we met in the middle– and I asked for forgiveness and she did the same.

As she walked away, I thought, “Now that’s one impressive woman — a believer who walks what she talks.  She could’ve done a lot of sin with that anger.  But she didn’t.  She handled it soon.  She handled only with me.  And she handled it with grace.”

That’s what is meant by “putting off” old and sinful behavior. 


[1] Mark 3:5 and Mark 11:15

[2] Ephesians 4:26

[3] Ephesians 4:26

[4] Ephesians 4:26

[5] Ephesians 4:27
[6] Colossians 3:9

[7] John 1:8

[8] Ephesians 4:27


This an exerpt from Total Domination.  For more, please log onto thecrossroadsaz.com.

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