Did you flare up today? If you did, it would likely have wrecked what would otherwise have been a good day for you. And, do you lose your temper just about every other day? If you do, it might wreck your life and that of others affected by you unless you take action to remedy the chronic condition.
More than self-preservation, we have at the first got to the realize that anger is a sin and that it is not alright with God. And, we are not deliberating on zeal for the Lord or righteous anger here. Paul in Ephesians 4:26 (Amp.) exhorts : “When angry, do not sin; do not even let your wrath (exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.” In those instances when I had lost my cool with my fellows, I felt like something died within me -- grieving of the Holy Spirit, and I recoiled as the ugliness of my outburst and its devastation on the tenderness of the unsuspecting target sinks in. In Matthew 5:21 ~ 22 (Amp.) our Lord Jesus Himself has said that anger is equivalent to murder in that it “shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court.”
To help us understand the vileness of a sin such as anger, we can refer to Revelation 4:11 (NKJV) which reads:
“You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created.”
When we become angry, we are jarringly not giving unto God what He and He alone is worthy to receive from us, namely: glory (all praise); honor (all respect / reverence); and power (all dominion). Clearly, our life is not about us but rather about how God intends for us to live our life, starting with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Once our inner man is attuned to the fact that anger is a sin, we will see the need to confess and repent of it so that we can receive God’s forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:19). When we confess our sins, including anger, let’s confess them specifically rather than fudge it by making a general confession of our sins. Let God knows that we are serious about having self-control over our anger..
We can learn much about self-control from Scripture passages such as Colossians 3: 2 ~ 17. Verse 2 urges us to set our mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Incidences which can potentially cause us to become angry will pass away and we ought not to be in the business of dwelling upon or keeping an account or, worse still, accounts of them. We are to die to the self in us (crucify our flesh; put to death; put off anger) so that Christ Jesus may live in us. In effect, we are to put on the new man where Christ is our all in all: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of God dwell richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through Him.” Let’s maintain an eternal perspective of things and live in the light of eternity, holding dear to things which matter to our Father in heaven. Then, “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:4; NKJV)
Anger has to be guarded against and not left to fester so that we do not give an opportunity to be taken captive in our thought life, behaviour and character by the evil one who comes to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. Let’s be not ignorant or indifferent to the insidious threat posed by anger notwithstanding how we felt that our rights have been violated, how the ‘offender’ should have known better, so on and so forth. We may even be tempted to justify ourselves by citing that we are under stress due to the usual culprits of : (1) Unmet needs; (2) Disparity between expectation and reality; and (3) Feeling of insecurity or under threat. Make no mistake, Proverbs 4:29 (NKJV) states resolutely that: “He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly.” Let’s make the wise decision to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ every day by allowing His word to dwell richly in us. Remember, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 16:25; NKJV). In the context of Proverbs 16, the Scripture refers to the way of fallen man as opposed to the thoughts and ways of God which are higher than man’s as the heavens are higher than the earth (Isaiah 55:9).
If we choose to be prudent and trust in God’s way as expounded in the Holy Bible, we will cultivate pleasant words which are like a honeycomb (rather than angry words) and enjoy sweetness to the soul and health to the bones (Proverbs 16:24). We have to act now before anger runs amok. James 3:5 tells us that an untamed tongue (e.g. unleashing angry words) can kindle a great forest, causing widespread destruction. And, we have not even touched on the physical aggression that may manifest when anger takes over. It’s time for us to destroy our propensity to become angry now, if not already done so. And, help others, besides.
and as it is written, anger is the way of Cain....
6So the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it." .....But if we love God and put on the whole armor of God, we can rule over pride and defeat the anger in our lives. Thank you for your article, it is a good reminder to a battle we must continually fight.