Summary: Anger is a powerful emotion. It can be used either in productive or destructive ways. When we get angry our anger is mixed with physical and emotional changes. It produces adrenaline. When we are angry our emotions are on the edge and we say and do things
Anger – A Biblical Perspective
Scripture: Ephesians 4:26
Introduction: Anger is a powerful emotion. It can be used either in productive or destructive ways. When we get angry our anger is mixed with physical and emotional changes. It produces adrenaline. When we are angry our emotions are on the edge and we say and do things which we normally would not do. Once our anger is resolved we may still have to deal with the energy or adrenaline it produces. It has to go somewhere. Some release their anger on the other person; a spouse or a friend. Some release their anger on objects, yet some suppress their anger until they get angry the next time. Is our anger good or bad? Is it good for you to get angry? What does the Bible say about anger?
Basically speaking in my study I find 2 types of anger: Sinful anger & righteous anger.
1. Sinful Anger. (Matthew 5:21-22)
If you are angry with your brother you will be subject to judgement. In other words Jesus said, “If you are angry with your brother without a cause it is a sin.” Our anger is sin if it is focussed on a person. Jesus was never angry at any person but he was angry with the sin in the people. When someone does wrong against us we must love the person but hate the sin in the person. All sinful anger comes from a selfish motive. It is always directed towards a person, group or community.
Types of Sinful Anger
a. Explosive Anger. In other words it is called sudden burst of anger. We have all experienced that. Such people are called hot-tempered people. Proverbs 19:19 19 A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again. The Bible says a hot-tempered man must pay the penalty for the destruction he creates. Such people destroy material items in their anger. They even destroy friendships and relationships. Proverbs 14:17 17 A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated. We tend to do foolish things in our temper when we tend to become explosive. This anger is sinful.
b. Revengeful Anger. Once someone hurts us the seed of anger is sown. When the anger grows in us we become revengeful. Such people often wait for a chance to attack the other person. Unless he takes revenge his anger never comes down. This revengeful attitude leads to murder, fights etc. Read Romans 12:17-21. The Bible says God will take revenge for us. We must learn to turn our revengeful attitude to God. Revengeful anger is sinful.
c. Stubborn Anger. This is the anger that stays over a period of time. It may last days, months, or even years. Such people are not open and never speak out their cause openly. They carry their anger and bitterness in their heart. They start to behave differently and talk harshly. Such rebellion can be seen among couples and friends.
Illustration: Husband comes home from work. He already is having a lot of tension in his work. They talked and argued because of some family issues. Instead of finishing the argument and carrying on in life, they got to bed with it. The husband faces the east and the wife faces the west. There is a big gap between them. They are literally calling the devil to sleep in between them. Both are stubborn and do not want to give up or lose the argument.
We need to change such an attitude. Some couples even wake up the whole night and argue. See what the Bible says Ephesians4:26 26"In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. God does not want us to behave in a stubborn manner when we are angry. He wants us to talk openly and finish it before the night. Remember stubbornness is sin.
Now, can ever a Christian get angry? Of course yes, anger is a very natural emotion. Let us study the second type of anger.
2. Righteous anger.
Anger is not always bad and the Bible shows many examples of anger. See Psalm 7:11. The ‘wrath of God’ or in other words God gets angry. We can call it as righteous anger. Jesus got angry in Mark 3:1-6. He got angry at pharisees for their selfish motives. Jesus got angry when he saw the house of the Lord was turned into the den of thieves. Jesus got angry for the right things. His anger was not directed to a person nor was it selfish in nature. Jesus directed his anger for the right thing. Jesus was not angry because he was targeted or attacked. Jesus was angry when justice was denied. We too have to use our anger for the right things. How good is it if we use our anger against the devil and its forces for holding people bondage under him, against the injustice in the society, against corruption etc. and pray. Our anger towards the devil and praying with that zeal can be deliver many from Satan’s clutches. Let us learn to direct our anger in a righteous way.