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The Giant Called Anger

Anger is a natural human hormone-induced reaction to an experience in response to a perceived threat, injustice, or frustration.

Stephen Phinney | IM Contributing Author


Anger is experienced as a justified act of revenge upon oneself or another – often engaging in physical and psychological responses that involve vicious, violent, and aggressive thoughts or actions.

Anger is an action or reaction to a perceived belief.

Anger can be a normal and healthy expression of disappointment if managed constructively, such as through organized responses, addressing injustice and sin, or communicating doctrinal errors effectively. However, if anger is expressed in a destructive or harmful way, it can lead to negative consequences for both the individual experiencing it and those at the brunt end of it. It is important to release well-managed anger healthily to avoid harm to oneself and others.

Jesus displayed organized anger.

And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. (Matthew 21:12)

The evidence that His anger was well planned and organized was amid His wrath, He stopped and opened the cages of the doves and let them go free. Rage would not have included this compassionate response. Rage never includes compassion. Authentic compassion reveals authentic Grace.

Wrath is mentioned in the Word 183 times. The word anger is used 268 times. In fact, God happens to make use of organized wrath repetitively throughout the Word. According to Revelation 19:15, He and Jesus use anger and wrath to put the final details of His prophecies in motion.

From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

An irony – we are commanded to be angry. BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. (Ephesians 4:26-27)

Anger mixed with sin is a deadly demonic evil of the devil. Satan understands righteous anger better than most. He also understands that organized and well-planned anger is effective and can accomplish much. Furthermore, he knows that anger, mixed with sin, becomes his tool to take revenge upon the God that manages him.

So, what is anger mixed with sin?

The world is filled with angry people. I get exhausted from seeing and hearing the masses exude their hate. Daily news feeds are labored with strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances, and opinions. All issues of anger mixed with sin.

Sin is anything that rises against the mandates and manners of God. Even Biblical principles can be mixed with self-life reactions and, thus, become sin. Yes. That is the worst kind of anger – dangerous flare-ups that are candy-coated with Biblical values. When anger is impulse versus organized and planned, it becomes sin mixed with anger.

We all know, or should, that anger is a protection mechanism to keep Truth or lies from impacting the soul. This covertly confesses that the Lord Jesus is impotent in protecting His Bride – so they protect themselves by scaring off others through bursts of anger. After all, who likes dealing with a raging soul? Not me. People with short fuses are ticking bombs. The psychology world has determined that rage steps up its game after each outburst. In other words, they get more out of control each time they blow a gasket. Before you know it, they strike out physically – as in bumper tag in road rages, or reaching for that handgun, or even destroying another with their tongue.

Jesus says some pretty alarming things about angry people.

"But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.” (Matthew 5:22)

You read that correctly, guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

The people Jesus addresses typically spend their life in rage – covertly (under the surface) or overtly through shooting off their mouths to instigate wars. Ultimately, innocent bystanders pay the price for their sudden reactions to fears. People who suffer from toxic fear and anger are a danger to themselves and the Living God who notes their outbursts.

The golden secret is in discovering the meaning of sinless anger. What did Paul mean by Be angry and do not sin? Later he says, Put all anger away. Did you know that anger can be positive? Venting anger is a sin. Purposely using well-managed anger accomplishes much. While progressive psychologists propagate Let it out, don’t hold it in, that single misguided counsel has developed a violent society over the years. You would think the average psychologist would know that anger vented is anger given permission – but they don’t. As a result, we have a world filled with opinionated violent people, minimally through their free speech. I blame the “people helpers” and some parents for this misguided platitude. Maybe this is what Jesus was warning us in this statement.

"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.” (Matthew 10:21)

Four punchlines that cannot be avoided:

  1. Galatians 5:20; 21b: Outbursts of anger prevent people from inheriting the kingdom of God.

  2. Proverbs 29:11: A fool loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back.

  3. James 1:19-20: All must be slow to speak and slow to anger. An angry man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

  4. Psalm 37:8: Cease from anger and forsake wrath…it only leads to evildoing.

Some of the wiser counselors in the world admit to the mistake of advising others to vent their anger. We have a full generation of pop psychology behind us. We are just now able to see that most psychological self-induced anger sets us up as mini gods. People determine who God is by their depraved views of God. Suppose fronted with immovable Biblical Truth, anger surfaces. If others continue in fronting them with Truth, violence erupts. Sinful anger is based on opinions, not Truth. Righteous anger is always based on and upon what God says in His Holy Word.

The key to fighting this giant is NOT letting the sun go down on our anger. If we do, it will give the devil an opportunity to destroy. It would be nice if we could say we never get angry, but we know that is not true for most of us. Resolving conflict before we go to bed is the key. We need to renounce sin mixed with anger. It is important not to contemplate what we are angry about or rehearse anger itself. Ignore the temptation to converse your anger topics with others. Dispersing your anger will only make things worse. Allow Christ to turn your anger points into opportunities to forgive and celebrate Christ’s joy within you. Most importantly, embrace that righteous anger is healthy and needed. That is if you keep the sin out of your responses. The two together make a toxic mix that Satan loves and uses.

Are you an angry “type” person? No worries. Jesus is ready and quick to kill off this giant that seems to overshadow your ability to see all things work together for His good. Release it all to the indwelling Jesus. You might see the good He has planned for you from it.

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