Tag Archives: anger

What the Bible says about anger, ours and God’s. How to deal with sinful anger.

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Everybody gets angry. We know that we all have sin natures that have areas of strength and weakness. You may be strong where I am weak, and vice versa. So it may be that you would never think of committing a particular sin where I might be having a great deal of trouble.

But, in one way or another everyone has problems with anger. Sometimes the anger is a quiet, seething resentment or indignation at some large or small offense, real or imagined. Sometimes anger explodes into a rage that can turn into retaliation, violence or murder.

When we are angry we hurt people, usually those who are closest to us. An angry person is his own worst enemy, as we shall see in this topical study.

Christians can have victory over the sin of anger! This study is written to lay out what the Bible says about anger and to answer questions like the following:

  • What is the difference between sinful anger and righteous indignation?
  • Does God get angry?
  • What causes me to get angry and what can I do about it?
  • How can I have victory over the sin of anger?

Definition

The Bible describes many types of anger as sin like sins of mental attitude. As a sin, anger expresses antagonism, exasperation, indignation, resentment and outrage. Anger often produces an emotional feeling, but the feeling is not the anger. The thought pattern which produced the feeling is the sinful anger.

In the Bible, the type of anger which is not sinful is more properly called righteous indignation.

The Bible uses two Greek words for anger: orge, referring to mental anger and thumos, for mental anger. It is possible, but not common, to have mental anger without an emotional response. In Eph. 4:31, both types of anger are related to bitterness.

Anger is a sin which promotes sins against other people, such as gossip, self-righteous judging, maligning and complaining.

Anger and righteous indignation are mental reactions to events or circumstances. If the mental reaction is unjustifiable then it becomes an emotional reaction such as irritation or exasperation and may lead to irrationality.

If a reaction is justifiable, it is never irrational. An example would be righteous indignation regarding false doctrine or heresy.

Righteous Indignation

Righteous indignation is not sinful anger. It is a clear understanding of a bad situation because you have a clear understanding from the Bible of what God thinks about it. Therefore, there is no reaction which leads to anger and sin.

In Mark 10:14, Jesus became opposed to the disciples when they forbade the children to be brought unto Him. This was not anger, it was an understanding of a wrong.

Jesus expressed righteous indignation in Matt. 23:13-36 when he condemned the scribes and Pharisees. He wasn’t angry when He told Peter “Get behind me, Satan, you are a stumbling block to me. You have not concentrated on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Matthew 16:23)

Another example of righteous indignation is a Christian’s mental attitude toward criminal activity. You can pursue, prosecute and sentence a criminal without compromising such principles as grace, forgiveness or impersonal love. You are aware that the criminal’s act is wrong and that he must be stopped. That is righteous indignation. But you do not hate the criminal or fall apart emotionally because of sinful anger. Impersonal love is a result of Christian growth and allows believers to have a regard for even the most obnoxious people that does not depend on their character or behavior.

It is righteous indignation that allows God to be angry about sin but to love us anyway. His love for us depends on His character, not on ours.

Characteristics of Sinful Anger

Anger is sin from the sin nature.

Gal. 5:19-21, “Now the deeds of the flesh [sin nature] are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these…”

Anger is related to foolishness.

Eccl. 7:9, “Do not be quick to be angry in your heart, for anger resides in the bosom of fools.”

The Bible defines a fool as a person without divine wisdom. He may be a genius, but his thinking is from human viewpoint. He thinks and acts apart from God’s standards and controls. The paramount fool and the beginning of foolishness is the person who has “said in his heart, There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)

Look at Romans 1:18-32 for a detailed description of the results of deliberately turning away from God. A fool is on a rapid downward slide towards destruction, both in this life and the one to come. In the list of terrible sins which characterize the ungodly are several which are either causes or results of anger.

Anger is associated with grieving the Holy Spirit.

Eph. 4:30-32, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

Notice the contrast here between conditions of anger and the results of impersonal love.

Anger is a violation of the Christian’s code of conduct as a member of the body of Christ.

Col. 3:8, 9, “But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices”

Anger hinders effective prayer.

1 Tim. 2:8, “Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.”

Anger is always accompanied by other sins.

Prov. 29:22, “An angry person stirs up strife and a hot tempered person abounds in transgression.”

Anger promotes the sins of gossip, self righteous judging, maligning, revenge, complaining, bitterness and many others.

Heb. 12:15, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble and by it many be defiled.”

Anger makes a person his own worst enemy; he brings misery upon himself.

Prov. 22:8, “He who sows iniquity will reap vanity, And the rod of his fury will perish.”

The unhappiness comes from many sources: failure to be occupied with Christ, failure to maintain a relaxed mental attitude, failure to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, thus, failure to grow in Christ. Lack of growth means lack of joy, lack of love and lack of divine viewpoint.

Anger promotes jealousy and cruelty. Prov. 27:4.

Anger causes misery for loved ones, friends and people around you. Anger destroys a nation. Prov. 21:19; 22:24; 24:25; 29:22.

Amos 1:11, “Thus says the Lord,”For three transgressions of Edom and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because he pursued his brother with the sword, While he stifled his compassion; His anger also tore continually, And he maintained his fury forever.”

Other Bible Teaching on Anger

Eph. 4:26 says, “Be ye angry, and sin not . . .” or “Although you may have become angry, stop sinning.”

This verse is quoted from Psalm 4:4, which is about David’s righteous indignation at the revolt of his son Absalom. He is resisting the temptation to become angry. “Tremble with anger, yet do not sin.” (Psalm 4:4) He was tempted to become angry at Absalom because Absalom had used his position to start a revolution against his father. He did not become angry, he trusted the Lord. This is also called occupation of your mind with Christ. He asked the army to spare Absalom. (2 Sam. 18:5)

It is possible to respond to unfairness or offense without sin. A person may sin against you, yet you can remain without sin. You can put the matter in the Lord’s hands, stay in fellowship and maintain a relaxed mental attitude. Furthermore, because you stay in fellowship, you are in the best position to be of service in the situation. You can forgive the other person and be open to any reconciliation he might offer. You will at least do your part to keep lines of communication open.

The Bible continually emphasizes righteousness maintained in the face of unfair treatment.

You cannot build your happiness on someone else’s misery. This is what retaliation tries to do. But you will never obtain happiness through revenge or by straightening out the other person. To punish someone else using verbal sins or violence is a revenge operation; worse yet, it obstructs divine judgment and discipline. “Judge not, that you be not judged.” from Matthew 7:1 is intended to warn us to let the Lord handle matters of sins against Himself. The angry person who arrogates to himself the position of judge is in a position of compounded divine discipline himself, worse off than the one who originally caused the trouble.

The Anger of the Lord

The Lord is said to have anger, or to be angry, in several places in the Bible. The word anger is used as an anthropopathism, a word or phrase that ascribes human characteristics or feelings to God, who is not human. God never reacts emotionally. He is never surprised, shocked or outraged. But He does have an attitude of wrath or anger against some things.

The phrase the anger of the Lord is used in the following passages:

Num. 25:4; 32:14; Deut. 29:20; Judg. 2:14, 20; 3:8; 10:7; 2 Kings 24:20; Jer. 4:8; 30:24; 51:45; 52:3; Zeph. 2:2, 3; Psalm 2:5.

The phrase the wrath of God is used in the following:

Psalm 78:31; John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:6; Rev. 14:10, 19; 15:1, 7; 16:1; 19:15.

Victory Over the Sin of Anger

Recognize the sin of anger and confess to the Lord when you become angry. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9. This will help you maintain your walk with the Lord and be controlled or filled by the Holy Spirit.

Continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Forgiveness is an important part of grace being used by a believer. The more you are oriented to God’s plan of grace, the more adept you will be at using the assets He provides.

Practice trusting God or using faith. God says, “Cast your care on Me, because I care for you.” (I Peter 5:7) When you are in bad situations, tell the Lord about it and let Him handle it.

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Jealousy

Definition

Jealousy is a mental attitude or emotional sin which is characterized by resentment of another person’s accomplishments, recognition, attractiveness, or possessions, or by hostility towards someone else who is believed to be enjoying some advantage.

Jealousy is a common result of the sin of pride, or arrogance. Jealousy can be thought of a part of a collection or complex of sins which begin with pride.

A prideful attitude is the opposite of a grace attitude. A person who is filled with pride is blind to the grace of God. Pride makes a person think of himself with a lofty self-esteem that is far apart from reality, and has a source in some imagined or real superiority to others.

Prov. 14:30, “A sound heart is life to the body; but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.

Jealousy is one of the strongest mental attitude sins.

Prov. 27:3,4, “A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty, but a fool’s wrath is heavier than them both. Wrath is cruel (fierce), and anger is outrageous, but who can stand before jealousy?

Pride is synonymous with vanity, which is empty pride in regard to one’s person, attainments, or possessions, coupled with an excessive desire to be noticed, to be recognized, to receive approval or praise from others.

Jealousy, then, is the result of discontent with the blessings, successes, or possessions of other people, or of their attractiveness, or of the attention that they receive.

Jealousy also comes from the fear of losing another person’s friendship or love, a mood that is based on self-centeredness, that suspects that the other person’s love has been diverted to a rival.

Jealousy, then, brings about a frantic competition in love, business or professional life, social life, athletics, as well as in the religious life.

Scriptural Teaching on Jealousy

Jealousy is one result of false teaching.

1 Tim. 6:3,4, “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and disputes of words, from which come jealousy, strife, railings, evil suspicions.

James 3:14,16, But if you have bitter jealousy and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth, This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, demoniacal. For where jealousy and strife are, there is confusion and every evil work.”

When a person is jealous, he is contentious, and he tries to build up self. To do this, he must lie against Bible truth.

Jealousy rejects Bible teaching.

Acts 13:45,But when the Jews [in Antioch of Pisidia] saw the multitudes [listening to Paul and Barnabas], they were filled with jealousy, and spoke against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.

Acts 17:5, “But when the Jews [of Thessalonica] who believed not, moved with jealousy, took unto them certain vile fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city in an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

Jealousy motivates religious people.

Mark 15:9,10,But Pilate answered them, saying, Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for jealousy.

Joseph’s brothers were motivated by jealousy to sell him into slavery.

From Stephen’s speech: Acts 7:9, “And the patriarchs, moved with jealousy, sold Joseph into Egypt, but God was with him.

Jealousy split the nation of Israel.

Isa. 11:13, “The jealousy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.

Special offerings were made for jealousy in Israel.

Numbers 5:11-31

Jealousy destroys a persons capacity for personal love for a member of the opposite sex.

Song 8:6,Set me a seal on your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave (Sheol); its coals are coals of fire, with a terrible flame.

Jealousy is self-destructive.

Job 5:2, “For wrath kills the foolish man, and jealousy slays the silly one.

Prov. 14:30, “A sound heart is life to the body; but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.

Jealousy is the trigger for false motivation and discord.

Phil. 1:15-17, “Some, indeed preach Christ even of jealousy and strife; and some also of good will; the one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds; but the other, of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel.

Here we have human good, a right action produced from a wrong motivation, jealousy. Arrogance creates this false motivation and competition. Pettiness is closely related to jealousy.

Application

Jealousy is a major function of self-righteousness and arrogance; therefore it is a major factor in Christian backsliding and degeneracy. Jealousy causes a Christian to develop a system of legalism or false spirituality, to set himself up as a role model for what Christianity should be, then to try to get others to accept their model of false self-identity.

While jealousy is part of the pride complex of sins, it generates its own suite of sinful reactions, including: bitterness, vindictiveness, implacability, ambition, competition, verbal sins, and revenge tactics.

Jealousy is a system of self-justification. You cannot solve your problems when you are trying to justify yourself.

The filling of the Holy Spirit cannot co-exist with jealousy; they are mutually excusive. Therefore, jealousy keeps a person from glorifying Christ.

Jealousy is a discontent with the blessings of successes of other people, a resentment of other people for what they have received. Therefore, it is total selfishness and is incapable of love. Love and jealousy are mutually exclusive.

Jealousy is tyranny, in that it comes from an attitude of possessiveness of another person, and therefore stifles the other person’s volition. Jealousy destroys freedom because it intrudes upon privacy.

The Solution to Jealousy

Occupation with Christ is the ultimate problem solving device regarding pride and jealousy. [Refer to the notes on Occupation with Christ}

Prov 8:11, “The respect for the Lord is to hate evil, to hate pride and pride and the evil way. And I hate a perverted mouth.

Daily attention to the techniques of the Christian Way of Life will give you a grace mental attitude that becomes more and more free of jealousy as you grow in Christ and in the knowledge of His Word.

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Anger – What the Bible says about anger, ours and God’s. How to deal with sinful anger. [NOV 2011]

The Doctrine of Anger

Everybody gets angry. We know that we all have sin natures that have areas of strength and weakness. You may be strong where I am weak, and vice versa. So it may be that you would never think of committing a particular sin where I might be having a great deal of trouble.

But, in one way or another everyone has problems with anger. Sometimes the anger is a quiet, seething resentment or indignation at some large or small offense, real or imagined. Sometimes anger explodes into a rage that can turn into retaliation, violence or murder.

When we are angry we hurt people, usually those who are closest to us. An angry person is his own worst enemy, as we shall see in this topical study.

Christians can have victory over the sin of anger! This study is written to lay out what the Bible says about anger and to answer questions like the following:

  • What is the difference between sinful anger and righteous indignation?
  • Does God get angry?
  • What causes me to get angry and what can I do about it?
  • How can I have victory over the sin of anger?

Definition

The Bible describes many types of anger as sin like sins of mental attitude. As a sin, anger expresses antagonism, exasperation, indignation, resentment and outrage. Anger often produces an emotional feeling, but the feeling is not the anger. The thought pattern which produced the feeling is the sinful anger.

In the Bible, the type of anger which is not sinful is more properly called righteous indignation.

The Bible uses two Greek words for anger: orge, referring to mental anger and thumos, for mental anger. It is possible, but not common, to have mental anger without an emotional response. In Eph. 4:31, both types of anger are related to bitterness.

Anger is a sin which promotes sins against other people, such as gossip, self-righteous judging, maligning and complaining.

Anger and righteous indignation are mental reactions to events or circumstances. If the mental reaction is unjustifiable then it becomes an emotional reaction such as irritation or exasperation and may lead to irrationality.

If a reaction is justifiable, it is never irrational. An example would be righteous indignation regarding false doctrine or heresy.

Righteous Indignation

Righteous indignation is not sinful anger. It is a clear understanding of a bad situation because you have a clear understanding from the Bible of what God thinks about it. Therefore, there is no reaction which leads to anger and sin.

In Mark 10:14, Jesus became opposed to the disciples when they forbade the children to be brought unto Him. This was not anger, it was an understanding of a wrong.

Jesus expressed righteous indignation in Matt. 23:13-36 when he condemned the scribes and Pharisees. He wasn’t angry when He told Peter “Get behind me, Satan, you are a stumbling block to me. You have not concentrated on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Matthew 16:23)

Another example of righteous indignation is a Christian’s mental attitude toward criminal activity. You can pursue, prosecute and sentence a criminal without compromising such principles as grace, forgiveness or impersonal love. You are aware that the criminal’s act is wrong and that he must be stopped. That is righteous indignation. But you do not hate the criminal or fall apart emotionally because of sinful anger. Impersonal love is a result of Christian growth and allows believers to have a regard for even the most obnoxious people that does not depend on their character or behavior.

It is righteous indignation that allows God to be angry about sin but to love us anyway. His love for us depends on His character, not on ours.

Characteristics of Sinful Anger

Anger is sin from the sin nature. Gal. 5:19-21, “Now the deeds of the flesh [sin nature] are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these…

Anger is related to foolishness. Eccl. 7:9, “Do not be quick to be angry in your heart, for anger resides in the bosom of fools.

The Bible defines a fool as a person without divine wisdom. He may be a genius, but his thinking is from human viewpoint. He thinks and acts apart from God’s standards and controls. The paramount fool and the beginning of foolishness is the person who has “said in his heart, There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)

Look at Romans 1:18-32 for a detailed description of the results of deliberately turning away from God. A fool is on a rapid downward slide towards destruction, both in this life and the one to come. In the list of terrible sins which characterize the ungodly are several which are either causes or results of anger.

Anger is associated with grieving the Holy Spirit. Eph. 4:30-32, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Notice the contrast here between conditions of anger and the results of impersonal love.

Anger is a violation of the Christian’s code of conduct as a member of the body of Christ. Col. 3:8, 9, “But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices

Anger hinders effective prayer. 1 Tim. 2:8, “Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.

Anger is always accompanied by other sins. Prov. 29:22, “An angry person stirs up strife and a hot tempered person abounds in transgression.

Anger promotes the sins of gossip, self righteous judging, maligning, revenge, complaining, bitterness and many others. Heb. 12:15, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble and by it many be defiled.”

Anger makes a person his own worst enemy; he brings misery upon himself. Prov. 22:8, “He who sows iniquity will reap vanity, And the rod of his fury will perish.” The unhappiness comes from many sources: failure to be occupied with Christ, failure to maintain a relaxed mental attitude, failure to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, thus, failure to grow in Christ. Lack of growth means lack of joy, lack of love and lack of divine viewpoint.

Anger promotes jealousy and cruelty. Prov. 27:4.

Anger causes misery for loved ones, friends and people around you. Anger destroys a nation. Prov. 21:19; 22:24; 24:25; 29:22. Amos 1:11, “Thus says the Lord,”For three transgressions of Edom and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because he pursued his brother with the sword, While he stifled his compassion; His anger also tore continually, And he maintained his fury forever.

Other Bible Teaching on Anger

Eph. 4:26 says, “Be ye angry, and sin not . . .” or “Although you may have become angry, stop sinning.

This verse is quoted from Psalm 4:4, which is about David’s righteous indignation at the revolt of his son Absalom. He is resisting the temptation to become angry. “Tremble with anger, yet do not sin.” (Psalm 4:4) He was tempted to become angry at Absalom because Absalom had used his position to start a revolution against his father. He did not become angry, he trusted the Lord. This is also called occupation of your mind with Christ. He asked the army to spare Absalom. (2 Sam. 18:5)

It is possible to respond to unfairness or offense without sin. A person may sin against you, yet you can remain without sin. You can put the matter in the Lord’s hands, stay in fellowship and maintain a relaxed mental attitude. Furthermore, because you stay in fellowship, you are in the best position to be of service in the situation. You can forgive the other person and be open to any reconciliation he might offer. You will at least do your part to keep lines of communication open.

The Bible continually emphasizes righteousness maintained in the face of unfair treatment.

You cannot build your happiness on someone else’s misery. This is what retaliation tries to do. But you will never obtain happiness through revenge or by straightening out the other person. To punish someone else using verbal sins or violence is a revenge operation; worse yet, it obstructs divine judgment and discipline. “Judge not, that you be not judged.” from Matthew 7:1 is intended to warn us to let the Lord handle matters of sins against Himself. The angry person who arrogates to himself the position of judge is in a position of compounded divine discipline himself, worse off than the one who originally caused the trouble.

The Anger of the Lord

The Lord is said to have anger, or to be angry, in several places in the Bible. The word anger is used as an anthropopathism, a word or phrase that ascribes human characteristics or feelings to God, who is not human. God never reacts emotionally. He is never surprised, shocked or outraged. But He does have an attitude of wrath or anger against some things.

The phrase the anger of the Lord is used in the following passages:

Num. 25:4; 32:14; Deut. 29:20; Judg. 2:14, 20; 3:8; 10:7; 2 Kings 24:20; Jer. 4:8; 30:24; 51:45; 52:3; Zeph. 2:2, 3; Psalm 2:5.

The phrase the wrath of God is used in the following:

Psalm 78:31; John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:6; Rev. 14:10, 19; 15:1, 7; 16:1; 19:15.

Victory Over the Sin of Anger

Recognize the sin of anger and confess to the Lord when you become angry. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9. This will help you maintain your walk with the Lord and be controlled or filled by the Holy Spirit.

Continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Forgiveness is an important part of grace being used by a believer. The more you are oriented to God’s plan of grace, the more adept you will be at using the assets He provides.

Practice trusting God or using faith. God says, “Cast your care on Me, because I care for you.” (I Peter 5:7) When you are in bad situations, tell the Lord about it and let Him handle it.

Stay Up-To-Date With Our Email Newsletter Today!