A reminder for today
And "don't sin by letting anger control you." Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
How are you today my dear friend? How are you coping with your anger? I must say that this week has been a challenging week leaving me upset at a number of times. After I wrote to you about anger yesterday it remained in my head and I decided to explore the matter a little. You see I wondered if there are good and bad anger, because God is angered. We read about God’s anger and His wrath many times during our study of the Old Testament in the last few months. When is anger needed and when is it wrong?
According to Mike Obsatz there are eight types of anger:
Chronic anger -- ongoing resentment toward others and life in general
Volatile anger -- comes and goes, builds to rage, explodes as physical or verbal aggression
Judgmental anger -- critical statements are made which belittle, shame, or correct other, done with disdain
Passive anger -- expressed indirectly through sarcasm, or being late, or avoiding a situation
Overwhelmed anger -- arises when people can't handle their life circumstances, and lash out to relieve stress or pain
Retaliatory anger -- directed to a person to get back at them for something that they did or said
Self-inflicted anger -- may result in hurting oneself emotionally or physically -- negative self-talk, starvation, eating or drinking to excess
Constructive anger -- using anger to make some positive difference, such as becoming involved in a cause or movement for positive change
I believe that there are two types of anger: a good anger and a bad anger. Let us look at the bad one first. The first type of anger is sinful. It fits into the list of sins in Galatians 5:20 that people who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. We can say that it is the temperament of some to be short and more easily angered but it is also the sign of an unsaved person. The sign of someone who is an angry man, woman, or child is evidenced by hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, envy, murders, and revelries. Let us ask ourselves about how often these are evidenced in our lives? We might be right to look at murder and focus on the big stuff but what about contention, outbursts, or revelries? Revelries are speaking evil of other people. These are all evidences of an unholy and ungodly person.
The Bible declares an angry person as proud, foolish, and unrighteous. Scoffer/Mockers are proud and haughty; they act with boundless arrogance. (Proverbs 21:24) Webster’s dictionary defines scoffer/mocker is someone who “shows contempt by derisive acts or language. In other words laughs at others in mocking or ungodly manner. The Bible also reveals someone who is easily angered is foolish. Ecclessiastes 7:9 also says that anger rests in the “bosom” of fools. Again in Proverbs; “People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness. (Proverbs 14:29).” Wrath or anger forces us to make poor decisions based off of our emotions. It is impulsive behaviour that gets us into trouble. James also tells us that the wrath of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God. As a Christian we should avoid such behaviour.
The second type of anger is righteous anger. This is anger in regards to sin and ungodliness.” All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech.” (Proverbs 8:13) Being angry at sin is being described here. It is what every Christian should feel towards evil. Rather than being angered from a sin nature we should be angered toward ungodliness in ourselves.
God is also angered by sin. Just do a study on anger and you will find that God is not happy with ungodliness. This doesn’t justify being upset at people or to be a constantly wrathful person toward sinners. The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. (Psalms 103:8) Remember that Jesus died for our sins so that we can be free from that burden. Though anger can be present in a Christian it should be few and far between.
So there you have it. Even though anger is needed at times it is not something that should control us nor should we get angry just to make a point. I want to end with referring back to Ephesians 4 – Don’t let anger control you, but instead control your emotions so that you do not get angry and lose control of your words. Do not allow the devil to use anger to get a foothold in your life. Let us defeat him by following God’s example. Let us be slow to anger and let us be filled with unfailing love.
Have and awesome day dear friend of Jesus