It was well said in the book Uprooting Anger by Robert Jones, “Anger is a universal problem, prevalent in every culture, experienced by every generation. No one is isolated from its presence or immune from its poison. It permeates each person and spoils our most intimate relationships (Jones, 2005, p. 13).”
Anger Brings Dissension and Destruction
The dissension and destruction anger can bring into a relationship is startling. The poison of anger upsets family gatherings and negatively affects marriages. Anger can be seen through short blow ups or in the effects of stewing about something someone said.
How many times has tension risen in family vacations because of anger that caused a dark cloud to eclipse our unity and peaceful relaxation? Even in our friendships, jobs, or even within our churches, anger can erupt and bring about dissension and tensions in relationships.
Sadly, we may experience the effects of a failed marriage that splinters a father or mother from son or daughter, or a brother and sister who have nursed their anger towards each other for years and have no desire to reconcile. Churches have sometimes split because of anger.
Anger may be more vile and destructive in our walk with the Lord and one another than we realize.
The Bible Speaks a Lot About Man’s Sinful Anger and Its Potential Dangers
- It tells us that sinful anger comes from within.
James 4:1-2 says, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something, but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight…”
Sinful desires do battle within us. They want something so badly that people are willing to kill, covet, and fight.
Often, we think of sinful anger as something that is driven by our circumstances. Sometimes, we blame others for our anger, but the Bible says all sinful desires begin in our heart.
In Mark 7:20-23, Jesus says, “For from within, out of men’s hearts come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. All these evils are from inside and make a man unclean.”
All sin originates from our inner self. Our thoughts, attitudes, and emotions are where sin originates. This is not flattering, but true and freeing. For God can change our hearts. Through His grace, we can put off old sinful ways of thinking, feeling, and acting, and we can replace them with godly ways of thinking, feeling, and acting.
- We should be slow to get angry.
James 1:19-20 NIV says, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to be angry. For the anger of man does not bring about the righteous life God desires.”
Proverbs 11:17 ESV, “A quick tempered man acts foolishly…”
Proverbs 14:29 NIV, “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but the one who is quick tempered displays folly.”
How to Deal with Anger Biblically.
- We are commanded to put off sinful anger. Ephesians 4:31 ESV, “Let all bitterness, and wrath and anger and clamor….be put away from you.”
- We are to replace sinful anger with godly attitudes. Ephesians 4:32 ESV, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Sinful Habitual Patterns Must Be Changed
We must also understand that sinful anger is a fruit of other ungodly thinking. We must recognize that sinful anger can become a habitual sinful pattern in our lives.
Instead, we must habituate our thinking and actions and learn [put on] godly habits and replacements.
Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV tells us, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off the old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
We must recognize sinful anger for what it is. We must renounce it, and we must replace it with right thinking, right attitudes, and right actions.
If you find that you are struggling with sinful anger, go to God’s Word, pray, get godly counsel from a friend, pastor, or biblical counselor. Put off sinful anger, and put on God-glorifying attitudes.
Jones, R. D. (2005). Uprooting Anger: Biblical Help for a Common Problem. Phillipsburg, NY: P&R Publishing Company.
Keywords: Biblical Counseling