We all get angry from time to time. Whether it is when someone cuts us off on the highway, from co-workers on a stressful day on the job or to our loves ones at home. But is it OK for a Christian to get angry? Well, anger is a real human emotion.
Many people believe it isn’t Christian to get angry but God got angry at times:
- Jeremiah 21:5: “I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm in anger and fury and great wrath.”
- Deuteronomy 29:28: In furious anger and in great wrath the LORD uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.
Slow to Anger
The key here is, God was slow to anger. "Slow to anger" is mentioned 9 times in the NIV version of the bible. Click HERE
But God sent us his son Jesus Christ to serve and set an example for us on this earth. And yes, even Christ got angry at times too. Here are a few examples:
In Matthew 23, Jesus was angry at the Scribes and Pharisees and he didn't sugarcoat what he thought. Read this chapter and see how many times that Jesus calls them hypocrites, fools, and blind guides. And in Matthew 23:33, he even referred to the Scribes and Pharisees as snakes.
In Matthew 21, Jesus became angry for all the buying and selling that was going on in the temple.
- Matthew 21:12-13: Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves."It is written," he said to them, 'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it a 'den of robbers.'"
In Mark Chapter 3 Jesus shows visible anger with the Pharisees who doubted him:
- Mark 3:5: “And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.
But Christ’s anger wasn’t over petty things or for selfish reasons. Christ had righteous anger that centered around moral issues (making a mockery of God’s house), leading people to do wrong, refusing to listen to God, for lack of faith, injustice, taking advantage of the poor or due to hardness of hearts.
And most importantly, knowing that we will get angry at times, we are instructed to not sin in our anger and resolve it quickly:
- Ephesians 4:26: "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”
Jesus tells us the importance of forgiving:
- Matthew 6:14-15: "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. "
So in our busy, hectic lives, we Christians always need to be remember the parameters of anger and how to appropriately deal with it. And also to employ the fruits of the spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23, which are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The above spirits identify us as Christians.
The key fruit of the spirit in dealing with anger is self-control. Nobody really makes us get angry. We can feel anger but we don't have to show anger. There is an equation for this: Event + Response = Outcome. We may not have much control over the Event but we do have complete control over the Response part of the equation and how we react to an event.
- Proverbs 25:28: Whoever has no rule over his own spirit--Is like a city broken down, without walls.
Whenever we lose self-control and get out of touch with our Holy Spirit, we are inviting Satan into our soul and expect many bad or hurtful outcomes.
The first human sin recorded in the bible is found in Genesis Chapter 3 when Eve disobeyed God and ate fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. This sin was pride as Eve disobeyed God and thought she could be like Him and gain His knowledge by eating the fruit.
The second sin was blame as Adam took the fruit from Eve and ate it and then tried to blame God--"it was the woman you gave me!"
- Genesis 3:12: The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
Likewise, Eve blamed the Serpent (Satan):
- Genesis 3:13: Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
Here is a great quote on blame:
"All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won't succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy.” -- William Dyer
When we constantly blame others, we give up our power to grow spiritually. We cannot blame other people, other things or Satan for when we stumble and sin. The devil doesn't make you do it, we have to take personal responsibility for our actions because we all will be held accountable to God someday.
- Romans 14:11-12: It is written: " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
A good concluding scripture:
- Ephesians 4:31-32: Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
A video I recommend that I think can help when you get angry and calm your spirit: Click HERE
Peace be with you,
© Michael J. Cox