Anger. Read the material here or download a PDF.
All of us know what anger is, everyone has been angry at some point in time. If you have never felt angry you have no emotions and you are not normal. Some people thrive on anger, using it as motivation.
How do we reconcile this with Scripture?
As children of God we are supposed to love others, and to forgive them. We are not to let anger burn in us and hold grudges. Anger stems from Pride, I have been wronged, I have been let down.
Was anger part of Jesus nature or motivation? Jesus was not motivated by fleshly (see Fruit of the Spirit vs. Fruit of the Flesh) anger but rather by righteous anger. Anger at what people had made His Fathers house into and anger at the Hypocrisy of people.
In a fit of anger (rage) people have broken doors, said the most horrible damaging words and even killed people. Anger most definitely is a stimulus, it motivates and inspire people to take action. An angry person can only sit quietly for so long before they have to say or do something. Many times both.
Quotes on Anger:
- Every moment you are angry, you loose a minute of happiness.
- When we give others a piece of our mind, we have no peace of mind left.
- Hatred is self punishment.
- Those who look for opportunities to hate, miss many opportunities to love.
- Anger manages everything badly.
- People who fly into a rage, always make a bad landing.
- No matter how long you nurse a grudge it wont get better.
Road rage is a good example of fleshly anger.
Verses on Anger:
The Bible has much to say on anger
- Psalm 4:4
- Ephesians 4:26
- James 1:19 -20
Genesis 4:3-6 Cains anger leads to sin
“One day, Cain gave part of his harvest to the LORD, 4 and Abel also gave an offering to the LORD. He killed the first-born lamb from one of his sheep and gave the LORD the best parts of it. The LORD was pleased with Abel and his offering, 5 but not with Cain and his offering. This made Cain so angry that he could not hide his feelings. 6 The LORD said to Cain: What’s wrong with you? Why do you have such an angry look on your face?” CEV
Pharaoh is angry at Moses.
2 Kings 5:11-12 Naamans anger towards Samuel
“11 But Naaman stormed off, grumbling, “Why couldn’t he come out and talk to me? I thought for sure he would stand in front of me and pray to the LORD his God, then wave his hand over my skin and cure me. 12 What about the Abana River or the Pharpar River? Those rivers in Damascus are just as good as any river in Israel. I could have washed in them and been cured.”
Matthew 5:21-26 Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
The Jewish teachers had taught, that nothing except actual murder was forbidden by the sixth commandment. Thus they explained away its spiritual meaning. Christ showed the full meaning of this commandment; according to which we must be judged hereafter, and therefore ought to be ruled now. All rash anger is heart murder. By our brother, here, we are to understand any person, though ever so much below us, for we are all made of one blood. Raca, is a scornful word, and comes from pride: Thou fool, is a spiteful word, and comes from hatred. Malicious slanders and censures are poison that kills secretly and slowly.
Christ told them that how light soever they made of these sins, they would certainly be called into judgment for them. We ought carefully to preserve Christian love and peace with all our brethren; and if at any time there is a quarrel, we should confess our fault, humble ourselves to our brother, making or offering satisfaction for wrong done in word or deed: and we should do this quickly; because, till this is done, we are unfit for communion with God in holy ordinances.
And when we are preparing for any religious exercises, it is good for us to make that an occasion of serious reflection and self-examination. What is here said is very applicable to our being reconciled to God through Christ. While we are alive, we are in the way to his judgement-seat; after death, it will be too late. When we consider the importance of the case, and the uncertainty of life, how needful it is to seek peace with God, without delay!
Restraint of hasty temper possible
La Fontaine, chaplain of the Prussian army, once preached an earnest sermon on the sin and folly of yielding to a hasty temper. The next day a Major of the regiment accosted him in no very good humour, saying: Well, sir! I think you made use of the prerogative of your office to annoy me with some very sharp hits yesterday. I certainly thought of you while I was preparing the sermon, the chaplain answered, but I had no intention of being personal or sharp. Well, it is of no use, said the Major, I have a hasty temper, and I cannot help it. I cannot control it; the thing is impossible.
The following Sunday La Fontaine preached on self-deception, and the vain excuses which men are accustomed to make. Why. said he, a man will declare it is impossible to control his temper, when he very well knows that were the same provocation to happen in the presence of his sovereign, he not only could, but would control himself entirely. And yet he dares to say that the continual presence of the King of kings imposes upon him neither restraint nor fear. The next day the preacher met the officer again, who said, humbly, You were right yesterday, chaplain. Hereafter, whenever you see me in the danger of falling, remind me of the King.