“(26) BE ANGRY, AND [yet] DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger,” {Ephesians 4:26 NASB}

 

“(19) [This] you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak [and] slow to anger; (20) for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” {James 1:19-20 NASB}

 

“(29) He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” {Proverbs 14:29 NASB}

 

“(18) A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute.” {Proverbs 15:18 NASB}

 

“(32) He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.” {Proverbs 16:32 NASB}

 

“(11) A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression. … (19) [A man of] great anger will bear the penalty, For if you rescue [him,] you will only have to do it again.” {Proverbs 19:11, 19 NASB}

 

“(24) Do not associate with a man [given] to anger; Or go with a hot-tempered man,” {Proverbs 22:24 NASB}

 

“(8) Scorners set a city aflame, But wise men turn away anger.” {Proverbs 29:8 NASB}

 

“(9) Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.” {Ecclesiastes 7:9 NASB}

 

Read these passages carefully. 

 

How would you summarize what they teach about anger?

 

What is clear is that if I am quick to get angry and live in an attitude of anger, then I am not wise, I produce for myself self-created problems will be in my life, I will hurt others, and I will not be accomplishing God’s will for my life. 

 

So, I must be very prayerful and careful when I get angry.

 

So, what is anger?

 

Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism towards a person, event, or idea.  It normally involves a strong uncomfortable and hostile response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat.  However, it can be a means to simply try to control everyone else in my life for my own selfish pleasure.  This approach is the idea of “Winning through intimidation” and “Nice guys finish last” to life. 

 

Now part of “righteous anger” is that it is slow and expressed with the person feeling the emotion but not out of control.  It is expressed “in love” to give a firm warning, true moral outrage, and wants to see person or events corrected to a more healthy and just state.  It is not just attempting to get the other person to conform to my thinking or my will.  It is a “last measure” of correction and not a first.  “Righteous anger” is not emotionally, verbally, religiously or physically abusive.

 

Anger is a secondary emotion and so we always have to look for what is underneath it.  These roots can be healthy or unhealthy.  Most of the time it is best to express the underlying emotion for what it really is rather than cloth it in anger.

 

So, it is best when I get angry to S.T.O.P.

 

Step back and take a breath.  Count to ten.  Slow down. Don’t speak or act quickly.

 

Think about why I am angry and what emotion is deeper than the anger.  Think before speaking or acting.

 

Objectively, consider if anger is the best response to the person or event I am facing.

 

Pray, and release to the Lord your fears, frustrations, and anger.  Ask for the gift of self-control which comes from the Holy Spirit.   Ask to bear the fruit of Jesus’ love towards the person or event.

 

Unhealthy and unholy anger is a reaction without thought or meditation.  Holy anger is one that is thoughtful, prayerful, careful, is limited in expression, short in duration, and used as energy to speak and act for the common good of others motivated out of love.  It is important that we not call unhealthy anger “holy” in an attempt to justify our abuse of others in the name of God or self-righteousness.  Bitterness is never holy or righteous, but a stored-up anger that turns into rage.  It is a cancer to the soul.

 

So, let us be angry, but keep ourselves from sin and the abuse of others.  Anger is the nuclear energy of the soul.  It can either be release like an atomic bomb wiping out everything or create energy like a nuclear power plant to help us resist evil in our own hearts and in society.   Under the control of the Holy Spirit and mixed with a humble attitude of heart, we use our anger to better understand ourselves and handle difficult issues and circumstances.  This takes great wisdom and maturity of soul.

 

“(32) He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.” {Proverbs 16:32 NASB}