deal with your anger wisely:

Handling anger is an important life skill. Christian counselors report that 50 percent of people who come in for counseling have problems dealing with anger. Anger can shatter communication and tear apart relationships, and it ruins both the joy and health of many. Sadly, people tend to justify their anger instead of accepting responsibility for it. Everyone struggles, to varying degrees, with anger. Thankfully, God’s Word contains principles regarding how to handle anger in a godly manner, and how to overcome sinful anger.

Anger is not always sin. There is a type of anger of which the Bible approves, often called “righteous indignation.” God is angry (Psalm 7:11Mark 3:5), and it is acceptable for believers to be angry (Ephesians 4:26). Two Greek words in the New Testament are translated as “anger.” One means “passion, energy” and the other means “agitated, boiling.” Biblically, anger is God-given energy intended to help us solve problems. Examples of biblical anger include David’s being upset over hearing Nathan the prophet sharing an injustice (2 Samuel 12) and Jesus’ anger over how some of the Jews had defiled worship at God’s temple in Jerusalem (John 2:13-18). Notice that neither of these examples of anger involved self-defense, but a defense of others or of a principle.

That being said, it is important to recognize that anger at an injustice inflicted against oneself is also appropriate. Anger has been said to be a warning flag—it alerts us to those times when others are attempting to or have violated our boundaries. God cares for each individual. Sadly, we do not always stand up for one another, meaning that sometimes we must stand up for ourselves. This is especially important when considering the anger that victims often feel. Victims of abuse, violent crime, or the like have been violated in some way. Often while experiencing the trauma, they do not experience anger. Later, in working through the trauma, anger will emerge. For a victim to reach a place of true health and forgiveness, he or she must first accept the trauma for what it was. In order to fully accept that an act was unjust, one must sometimes experience anger. Because of the complexities of trauma recovery, this anger is often not short-lived, particularly for victims of abuse. Victims should process through their anger and come to a place of acceptance, even forgiveness. This is often a long journey. As God heals the victim, the victim’s emotions, including anger, will follow. Allowing the process to occur does not mean the person is living in sin.

Anger can become sinful when it is motivated by pride (James 1:20), when it is unproductive and thus distorts God’s purposes (1 Corinthians 10:31), or when anger is allowed to linger (Ephesians 4:26-27). One obvious sign that anger has turned to sin is when, instead of attacking the problem at hand, we attack the wrongdoer. Ephesians 4:15-19 says we are to speak the truth in love and use our words to build others up, not allow rotten or destructive words to pour from our lips. Unfortunately, this poisonous speech is a common characteristic of fallen man (Romans 3:13-14). Anger becomes sin when it is allowed to boil over without restraint, resulting in a scenario in which hurt is multiplied (Proverbs 29:11), leaving devastation in its wake. Often, the consequences of out-of-control anger are irreparable. Anger also becomes sin when the angry one refuses to be pacified, holds a grudge, or keeps it all inside (Ephesians 4:26-27). This can cause depression and irritability over little things, which are often unrelated to the underlying problem.

We can handle anger biblically by recognizing and admitting our prideful anger and/or our wrong handling of anger as sin (Proverbs 28:131 John 1:9). This confession should be both to God and to those who have been hurt by our anger. We should not minimize the sin by excusing it or blame-shifting.

We can handle anger biblically by seeing God in the trial. This is especially important when people have done something to offend us. James 1:2-4Romans 8:28-29, and Genesis 50:20 all point to the fact that God is sovereign over every circumstance and person that crosses our path. Nothing happens to us that He does not cause or allow. Though God does allow bad things to happen, He is always faithful to redeem them for the good of His people. God is a good God (Psalm 145:8917). Reflecting on this truth until it moves from our heads to our hearts will alter how we react to those who hurt us.

We can handle anger biblically by making room for God’s wrath. This is especially important in cases of injustice, when “evil” men abuse “innocent” people. Genesis 50:19 and Romans 12:19 both tell us to not play God. God is righteous and just, and we can trust Him who knows all and sees all to act justly (Genesis 18:25).

We can handle anger biblically by returning good for evil (Genesis 50:21Romans 12:21). This is key to converting our anger into love. As our actions flow from our hearts, so also our hearts can be altered by our actions (Matthew 5:43-48). That is, we can change our feelings toward another by changing how we choose to act toward that person.

We can handle anger biblically by communicating to solve the problem. There are four basic rules of communication shared in Ephesians 4:1525-32:

1) Be honest and speak (Ephesians 4:1525). People cannot read our minds. We must speak the truth in love.

2) Stay current (Ephesians 4:26-27). We must not allow what is bothering us to build up until we lose control. It is important to deal with what is bothering us before it reaches critical mass.

3) Attack the problem, not the person (Ephesians 4:2931). Along this line, we must remember the importance of keeping the volume of our voices low (Proverbs 15:1).

4) Act, don’t react (Ephesians 4:31-32). Because of our fallen nature, our first impulse is often a sinful one (v. 31). The time spent in “counting to ten” should be used to reflect upon the godly way to respond (v. 32) and to remind ourselves how the energy anger provides should be used to solve problems and not create bigger ones.

At times we can handle anger preemptively by putting up stricter boundaries. We are told to be discerning (1 Corinthians 2:15-16Matthew 10:16). We need not “cast our pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6). Sometimes our anger leads us to recognize that certain people are unsafe for us. We can still forgive them, but we may choose not to re-enter the relationship.

Finally, we must act to solve our part of the problem (Romans 12:18). We cannot control how others act or respond, but we can make the changes that need to be made on our part. Overcoming a temper is not accomplished overnight. But through prayer, Bible study, and reliance upon God’s Holy Spirit, ungodly anger can be overcome. We may have allowed anger to become entrenched in our lives by habitual practice, but we can also practice responding correctly until that, too, becomes a habit and God is glorified in our response.

Prophet Nathan Emol

KNOW HOW TO MANAGE YOUR EMOTIONS:

What would humans be like if we never became emotional, if we were capable of controlling emotions at all times? Perhaps we would be like Mr. Spock on Star Trek, as his responses to all situations seem to be purely logical, never emotional. But God created us in His image, and God’s emotions are revealed in the Scriptures; therefore, God created us as emotional beings. We feel love, joy, happiness, guilt, anger, disappointment, fear, etc. Sometimes our emotions are pleasant to experience and sometimes not. Sometimes our emotions are grounded in truth, and sometimes they are “false” in that they are based upon false premises. For example, if we falsely believe that God is not in control of the circumstances of our lives, we may experience the emotions of fear or despair or anger based on that false belief. Regardless, emotions are powerful and real to the one feeling them. And emotions can be helpful indicators of what is going on in our hearts.

That being said, it is important that we learn about managing emotions rather than allowing our emotions to manage us. For example, when we feel angry, it is important to be able to stop, identify that we are angry, examine our hearts to determine why we are angry, and then proceed in a biblical manner. Out-of-control emotions tend not to produce God-honoring results: “Human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:20).

Our emotions, like our minds and bodies, are influenced greatly by the fall of mankind into sin. In other words, our emotions are tainted by our sin nature, and that is why they need controlling. The Bible tells us we are to be controlled by the Holy Spirit (Romans 6Ephesians 5:15–181 Peter 5:6–11), not by our emotions. If we recognize our emotions and bring them to God, we can then submit our hearts to Him and allow Him to do His work in our hearts and direct our actions. At times, this may mean God simply comforts us, reassures us, and reminds us we need not fear. Other times, He may prompt us to forgive or to ask for forgiveness. The psalms are an excellent example of managing emotions and bringing our emotions to God. Many psalms are filled with raw emotion, but the emotion is poured out to God in an attempt to seek His truth and righteousness.

Sharing our feelings with others is also helpful in managing emotions. The Christian life is not meant to be lived alone. God has given us the gift of other believers who can share our burdens and whose burdens we share (Romans 12Galatians 6:1–102 Corinthians 1:3–5Hebrews 3:13). Fellow believers can also remind us of God’s truth and offer new perspective. When we are feeling discouraged or afraid, we can benefit from the encouragement, exhortation, and reassurance other believers provide. Often, when we encourage others, we ourselves are encouraged. Likewise, when we are joyful, our joy usually increases when we share it.

Allowing our emotions to control us is not godly. Denying or vilifying our emotions is not godly, either. We should thank God for our ability to feel emotion and steward our emotions as a gift from God. The way to manage our emotions is to grow in our walk with God. We are transformed through the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:1–2) and the power of the Holy Spirit—the One who produces in us self-control (Galatians 5:23). We need daily input of scriptural principles, a desire to grow in the knowledge of God, and time spent meditating on God’s attributes. We should seek to know more of God and share more of our hearts with God through prayer. Christian fellowship is another important part of spiritual growth. We journey with fellow believers and help one another grow in faith as well as in emotional maturity.

Prophet Nathan Emol

you should control your temper:

Many people struggle with a quick or fiery temper. Although society often encourages people to express themselves and not hold back, God’s Word teaches that giving in to one’s temper is a sin.

The Bible has a lot to say about the importance of controlling one’s temper. It calls a person who easily loses his temper a “fool” (Proverbs 29:11Ecclesiastes 7:9) and describes someone who cannot control himself as a “city whose walls are broken down” (Proverbs 25:28). A person with a hot temper is often at odds with those around him, becoming easily offended and lashing out in anger for even the smallest slight (Proverbs 15:18a). As children of God, we are called to love others (John 13:35Ephesians 4:231-32) and to be at peace (James 1:19Proverbs 19:11James 3:17-18). “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). A person who maintains a calm, even temper is quicker to forgive and better able to live peaceably with others (Proverbs 15:18b12:1619:11).

With the Holy Spirit in our lives, we will show the fruit of His work inside us. Some of the fruits of the Spirit are peace, patience, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23)—these are essential to controlling the tendency to lose our temper. In fact, the Greek word translated “patience” (“longsuffering” in the KJV) carries the idea of “long-burning,” as in having a long fuse. As we grow in Christ, we should continue to deal appropriately with anger (no short fuses!) and react with love and patience (Colossians 3:8).

We may often feel justified in losing our temper, particularly when someone has hurt or offended us. But we are instructed to forgive (Matthew 5:446:1218:21–22), not yield to anger or seek vengeance. It is ultimately God’s prerogative to punish evildoers (Deuteronomy 32:35Romans 12:19). For an example of this forgiveness, we need only look to Jesus. When He was hanging on the cross, crucified for sins He did not commit, He did not release His wrath on the perpetrators. Instead, He asked God the Father to forgive them (Luke 23:34).

It’s important to note that anger is a valid emotion and is not always sinful. God allows for “righteous anger,” which is anger with the proper focus, the proper motivation, the proper control, the proper duration, and the proper result. Our problem is that our temper is often motivated by selfishness and directed toward other people instead of toward sin. That’s why God tells us to “let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) . . . be banished from you” (Ephesians 4:31, AMP). With God’s help, we can keep our temper in check.

Prophet Nathan Emol

judgement begins at the house of god:

Judgment is a recurring theme throughout the Bible (see Psalm 82:8). God’s plan includes a final judgment on the wicked and all who reject the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as payment for their sins (Matthew 10:15; Romans 2:2; Hebrews 9:27; 10:26–27). A cursory reading of 1 Peter 4:17 seems to suggest that Christians may face God’s judgment, too: “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” Is the “judgment” that begins at the house of God the same as the judgment of the wicked?


The context of 1 Peter 4:17 explains more about the judgment that begins at the household of God. In this chapter Peter is exhorting the church—the house of God—which was facing persecution, to persevere. The believers were also struggling to separate from the former worldly sins that had once enslaved them (verses 1–4). Peter reminds them that the wicked will face God’s judgment (verse 5) but that believers in Christ must hold themselves to a higher standard than they once did. The “fiery trials” that they were facing were to help refine them like gold (verse 12).
God allows difficulties and suffering in the lives of His people to purify them. When we are persecuted for the cause of Christ, we share in His sufferings (1 Peter 4:13–14). And when we share His suffering, we know Him a little better (Philippians 3:10). Paul echoes this theme in Romans 8:17: “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Part of God’s judgment upon sin is physical suffering. When His own children experience such suffering, it is not for our harm but to make us more like Jesus. “Judgment” for the children of God can be considered discipline (Hebrews 12:4–11). It is designed to purge the sin from our lives and teach us obedience.


A loving father does not discipline the kids down the street, because they are not his. A father disciplines his own children. Likewise, the discipline of our heavenly Father begins at His own household, with His own children, the church. He is reserving for the wicked an ultimate, final judgment that His children will never experience (Romans 8:1). Scripture makes a distinction between God’s purifying discipline of the church and His ultimate condemnation of the wicked: “When we are judged . . . by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:32).
In this present age, God allows painful circumstances in the lives of His own household, not to condemn but to mature, convict, and bring repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). Through suffering we learn patience (James 1:2–4). This kind of judgment is to encourage us to abandon selfishness and draw nearer to Him (James 4:8). The ultimate, final judgment for unbelievers will be eternal separation from God, from life, and from all that is good and beautiful (Matthew 8:11–12; Revelation 21:8).


The judgment that begins at the household of God also includes church discipline. Church discipline is not for unbelievers but for believers: “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?” (1 Corinthians 5:12). Believers are commanded to take responsibility for other followers of Christ who may be slipping or headed toward sin (James 5:20). First Corinthians 5:11–13 commands us to avoid fellowship with anyone claiming to be a brother or sister in Christ but who insists on maintaining a sinful lifestyle. Jesus lays out the process for church discipline in Matthew 18:15–17. Someone who has been confronted multiple times and warned that the choices he is making are in opposition to God needs to repent. If he refuses to listen to the church, we are to turn away from him in the hope that this drastic action will bring about repentance (see 2 Corinthians 2:7 and Galatians 6:1). As believers, we are to pursue holiness and encourage each other to pursue it, too (1 Peter 1:15–16). We are to judge ourselves as God’s household (1 Corinthians 11:31). In this way, judgment begins in the house of God.


There will be another kind of judgment for all those who have been redeemed by God’s Son. Second Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (cf. Romans 14:10). This judgment for those who are “in Christ” is not to determine eternal destiny but to give rewards for godly service and faithfulness (Matthew 16:27; Revelation 22:12). Jesus commanded us to store up treasure in heaven (Luke 12:33). This treasure will be revealed at the judgment seat of Christ. This glorious day will be more like an awards ceremony than a trial, because everyone present has already had their eternal fate secured when they were born again (John 3:3). Jesus Himself will give us crowns and treasure to enjoy for all eternity according to what we have done with all He had entrusted to us (Matthew 25:21).


God’s desire is that His people learn to walk in holiness and fellowship with Him (Romans 8:29). As any loving parent would do, God will bring unpleasant consequences upon His children for rebellion. He expects the ones He has redeemed by the blood of His Son to set the example for the rest of the world. If the church is not in pursuit of holiness, the world sees no need to change its allegiance. So judgment begins in the household of God, with His own children, as He teaches us to live like Jesus.

Prophet Nathan Emol

WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE ACCOUNT OF POTIPHAR’S WIFE?

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The story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife in Genesis 39 contains some obvious lessons about fidelity in the face of sexual temptation, and there are also some subtler points to be found about the loyal character of God. The story is dramatic: Jacob’s son Joseph is in Egypt, where he is Potiphar’s servant and the most trusted overseer in his household. Potiphar’s wife sees that Joseph “was well-built and handsome, and after a while . . . said, ‘Come to bed with me!’” (Genesis 39:6–7).

Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph, but he staunchly refuses her advances: “My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). Joseph is loyal both to Potiphar and to God. Potiphar’s wife doesn’t give up; she “spoke to Joseph day after day, [but] he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her” (verse 10). Note the wise course Joseph takes, choosing not to be alone with Potiphar’s wife if he could help it.

But then came a turning point in Joseph’s life: “One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. [Potiphar’s wife] caught him by his cloak and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house” (Genesis 39:11–12). Potiphar’s wife, spurned again, stands there with Joseph’s cloak in her hand, and she chooses an angry, vindictive plan: “She called her household servants. ‘Look,’ she said to them, ‘this Hebrew . . . came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house’” (verses 14–15).

When Potiphar came home, his wife showed him Joseph’s cloak and repeated the lie: “As soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house. . . . This is how your slave treated me” (Genesis 39:18–19). Potiphar, outraged at Joseph’s supposed betrayal, put him in prison (verse 20).

There is much in the story of Potiphar’s wife about resisting sexual temptation. A brash woman overtly tempts a man, pulling on his clothes and saying, “Lie with me.” The man flees from her so suddenly that he actually leaves his garment in her hand. Joseph doesn’t stand there, gazing at the woman, considering whether or not he should sleep with her. He immediately gets out of there (see 1 Corinthians 6:18).

Joseph’s wise handling of the situation with Potiphar’s wife directly contrasts the foolhardy actions of the simple man in Proverbs. Solomon sees a fool walking toward the house of an adulterous woman (Proverbs 7:8). When the fool drew near, “she took hold of him and kissed him . . . with a brazen face” (verse 13). Rather than run away like Joseph, the foolish man stayed to listen to her: “With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk” (verse 21). And he paid a high price for his foolishness: “All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter” (verse 22). One could argue the Joseph, too, paid a high price—his virtue landed him in prison—but one has only to read the rest of Genesis to see the blessings God had in store for Joseph.

It is interesting to note that Genesis 39 does not say anything about Joseph’s feelings for Potiphar’s wife: was he attracted to her? Did he find her beautiful or interesting? How long did they have a perfectly normal and friendly relationship—servant and mistress—before she chose to attempt a seduction? None of this is enumerated. The heart of the issue is this: Potiphar’s wife promised happiness and sensual satisfaction, but Joseph saw sin for what it is, refusing to do “this great wickedness” (Genesis 39:9, ESV). Joseph feared God, knowing that all sin is ultimately against Him (see Psalm 51:4). In saying “no” to Potiphar’s wife, Joseph showed himself to be wise: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding” (Psalm 111:10).

The incident with Potiphar’s wife is bookended by two passages that speak of God’s love and blessing to Joseph. Joseph found favor in the eyes of the Egyptians among whom he lived and rose to a position of prominence in the house of Potiphar (Genesis 39:1–6). Joseph’s success and position was the direct result of God’s blessing (verses 2–3). When Joseph was wrongly accused and sent to prison, God remained faithful. God “showed [Joseph] kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden” (verse 21). Soon, the keeper of the prison had put Joseph in charge of the other prisoners and trusted him so fully that he no longer paid attention to anything that was under Joseph’s control (verses 22–23). Everything Joseph did succeeded because “the Lord was with Joseph” (verse 23).

The story of Potiphar’s wife is about loyalty as much as it is about resisting temptation. Potiphar’s wife was disloyal to her husband, but Joseph was loyal both to Potiphar and to God. God shows us amazing loyalty and faithfulness. It is part of His character. He is “compassionate and gracious . . . slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6). “For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does” (Psalm 33:4). Joseph’s desire to be faithful and loyal to Potiphar was in response to God’s faithfulness to Him; Joseph was reflecting God’s character, which is what the godly do. “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6).

When Potiphar’s wife stirred her husband’s jealousy and made him throw Joseph in prison unjustly, God was still there, comforting and blessing Joseph. From this we can learn that, even if we are treated unfairly in this life, God will never forsake His servants (Hebrews 13:5).

Prophet Nathan Emol