Dealing With Our ὀργὴ Anger

Like so many of you, I am mourning the violence seen in the Buffalo shootings, along with those in Milwaukee, and a church in California on Sunday. Apart from the Gospel of Christ transforming lives, there doesn’t seem to be an answer to the rampant violence in this world.

While we cannot do much about these shooting deaths…..

But there’s a lot we can do about the many relationships destroyed by conflict, or misunderstandings

Because we are all fallen human creatures, we are bound to “get on one another’s nerves” of offend each other sometimes. And we usually don’t respond to those stressful situations with an attitude of love and grace. Sadly many Christians once their emotions have cooled down don’t go the trouble of restoring that relationship.

Because the issue wasn’t dealt with there will usually be a small amount of frustration or anger with the individual. Most of the time we can forgive them easily, but occasionally that small anger will grow. And if we aren’t careful that anger can grow to explosive levels.

There are many words for anger in the Greek New Testament, but the most powerful is ὀργὴ (pronounced or-gey)

This word refers to a “swelling or great pressure.: It gives the idea of a volcano that continues gaining more and more pressure till it literally explodes. Usually at the worst possible time!

Last week a simple situation (a man being removed from his home because he wasn’t paying rent) became a HUGE ordeal in our community. One woman walked by and simply said the home-owner was wrong for making the man leave. This led to an argument between the home-owners son and the woman, then the home-owner and her family arrived shortly to continue the argument. For around two-hours they stood about forty-fifty feet from each other shouting expletives and arguing. All this because one woman said the other was wrong!

I know from experience that ὀργὴ wrath can explode at any moment so it must be dealt with.

Ken Sande has written an AMAZING BOOK called the Peacemaker (you can buy it here). In it he gives good advice on handling our explosive wrath in what’s called the “Four G’s”.

  1. Glorify God: Sande encourages readers to ask “How can I please and honor the Lord in this situation?”
  2. Get the Log Out of Your Own Eye: This means confessing what YOU DID WRONG in the situation (regardless of what they did) and the root cause of it
  3. Gently Restore: This involves personally apologizing for your part in the conflict, and lovingly showing the other party how they are in the wrong (bring to repentance)
  4. Go and Be Restored: Finally you do whatever it takes to heal that relationship over time

In a very basic way the violence of this world is the result of so many ὀργὴ volcano’s just waiting to blow. Which is why it’s so important for us to “defuse the bomb” and now allow our anger to grow.

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