I have struggled with anger for many years, but nothing brings this out like a couple of young boys! I have a book that I began reading several months ago called She’s Going to Blow. I put it down for a while in order to read some other things of interest, but the author is transparent and funny in her encouragement to moms to put aside anger. One day, I was particularly frustrated with my older son. I don’t recall what the situation was now, but I came to my room for some solitude. He came in, found the book, and handed it to me! Now I can laugh about it, but in the moment I wanted to bop him on the head with it!!! I didn’t — I asked him to leave so I could deal with my heart. Now months later, as I’m doing a Kay Arthur Bible study, the subject of anger has come up. She put together a couple of verses on anger that I had noticed before, so I thought I’d share!
1. Anger can be a sign of an unrepentant heart. It is part of the old man, not His new creation.
- “The godless in heart cherish anger…” Job 36:13
- “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do [also translated practice] such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
- But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Colossians 3:8-10
2. Even righteous anger is not ours to act upon.
- “…let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (emphasis added) James 1:19-20
- “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'” Romans 12:17-19
3. And here is the part I hadn’t put together before! We are not to let the sun go down on our anger because it begins to smolder. As we hold anger, it grows until it explodes. (Most professional counselors have said this for years, but I wonder how many realize it’s a biblical principle?) Instead, we are to follow David’s example to meditate in our hearts, be still, offer a sacrifice of righteousness, and trust God.
- “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,” Ephesians 4:26
- “For with hearts like an oven they approach their intrigue; all night their anger smolders; in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.” Hosea 7:6
- “Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD. ” Psalm 4:4-5
The Bible says so much about anger! I could go on and on for days (others have, in books!), but for now this is enough — when the anger comes, put it away, by holding it up in light of the Truth, sacrificing it to Him, and trust Him.