The Problem with Anger

Posted on April 4, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters

Even the nicest people sometimes go over the edge and get angry. Many people are good at covering it up on the outside but are boiling on the inside. Most of us, when experiencing the “blow-up” did it spontaneously and moments later are humiliated on the inside desperately wishing we could take it all back in order to respond more appropriately.

The problem with many preachers or would-be preachers who are trying to lay a guilt trip on us is that they fail to take into account what the Scriptures say in their entirety. So let’s look at some passages on anger. I acknowledge much assistance in this study to the writings of Dr. Jay Adams, psychologist and Rev. David Pratte.

The Bible specifically says, “Be angry and do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26). Apparently there is some anger which is justifiable.

  1. God is angry with sin. (Psalm 7:11; John 3:36; Romans 1:18; 2:5-9; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6) If God is angry with sin, we can be (should be?) too!
  2. There are many examples of Moses being and acting angry because of sin. (Exodus 11:4-8; 32: 19-24; Numbers 12:3; 16:15)
  3. Jesus was angry with sin. (Mark 3:5)
  4. Paul and a whole congregation of people acted with “indignation” towards one of their members who had sinned. (I Corinthians 5)

But we still have a problem: most of us suffer from anger that has little to do with sin, but rather with what affects us personally—our feelings, our egos. And there’s the danger.

In Matthew 5:22 from the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught, “He who is angry at his brother without a cause is in danger of judgment.” Note: without a cause. Apparently, there are causes which are not sin!

James 1:19 & 20 say, “Be slow to wrath, because the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” Note: be slow! Proverbs 14:17 says, “A quick-tempered man acts foolishly…” (See also Proverbs 29:22.) Again, it would seem there is a time when anger is justified. The issue is to determine when it is appropriate and when it is not.

“Getting it out of your system” or “releasing the tension” by venting is a very bad idea.

So is “clamming up” because that eventually leads to the “blow up.” Sinful thoughts lead to sinful actions. While Ephesians 4 tells us that all anger is not sin, it does say that we should put away anger that is associated with “bitterness, loud quarreling, evil speaking, and malice.”

Remember that your anger can be controlled. God commands that and He does not expect us to do the impossible, so there must be a way! I Corinthians 10:13 assures us that we do not face any temptation that is beyond our ability to handle for God will make a way of escape.

Many passages in the Scriptures refer to self-control. They all likewise tell us to control our tempers: I Corinthians 9: 25-27; II Peter 1: 5-8; Galatians 5: 22,23.

How can you learn to handle anger?

  1. Study the Scripture passages mentioned in this document. Fix them in your mind. Think of them just when you are ready to “blow your top”!
  2. Repent of each incident when you were angry and pray for self-control in the future.
  3. Stay away from people or situations as much as possible that tend to “set you off”! When it is necessary to be in those situations, prepare yourself and have a mind-set of overlooking what would normally upset you. Practice self-control!
  4. Force yourself to think of what the consequences of your anger will be. Be slow to act!
  5. Reject a mind-set of revenge for those who have injured you in the past. Forgive and forget. Use your energy to fix the problem rather than to perpetuate the problem.
  6. Be willing to listen to the advice of other Godly people.

We all have been told that to harbor anger is much more destructive to us than to the person with whom we are angry. We spend our time fussing and fuming, scheming and conniving, and the other person just goes on his merry way with no thoughts or concerns! In the final analysis, it really does come down to the fact that we were the loser by holding on to the anger! Winston Churchill said, “By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.” How much better would it be to go to the person in humility to work out the problem. It the other person rejects your offer, you have done your part and can forget it from there. It is off your conscience.

Anger is not good. Neither is it always sin. May God give us the wisdom and determination to differentiate between them and to deal with it wisely.

Written by Rev. Neil Fitchthorn Rev. Neil Fichthorn is a seasoned conference and camping servant having served at Gull Lake Bible Conference, Sandy Cove Ministries as President, and an interim Executive Director at Pinebrook Bible Conference. He also served in church music for decades as a choir director and arranger. He has been Bill Welte’s mentor and friend for over 45 years.

The Daily Bible Reading: Leviticus 1-3, Hebrews 6| You can download our 2018 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

Daily Quote: “Bear with the faults of others and you would have them bear with yours.” – Phillips Brooks

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4 

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