The Bible and Anger


     Introduction:  Anger is sometimes specifically mentioned (about 200 times). Sometimes anger is addressed under headings such as temperance or control. There are about nine original words translated anger, seven Hebrew and two Greek. The basic resident action is strong emotion and, often, lack of control (orge is translated anger in Colossians 3: 8).

I. Anger is not always a sin.

  A. God has been angered (had wrath) because of man's sin (Num. 32: 13, Heb. 3: 11).

  B. When Jesus observed the hypocrisy and scripture abuses of the Jews, "…he looked round about on them with anger…" (Mk. 3: 5).

  C. All who have the mind of Christ should be angered at false doctrine (cp. Phili. 2: 5).

  D. In this vein Paul wrote, "Be ye angry, and sin not…let not the sun go down upon your wrath" (Eph. 4: 26).

II. Unjustified anger is a sin.

  A. As we have noted, anger is not always bad, anger is even required (Eph. 4: 26; Mk. 3: 5). However, anger (strong emotion) in many circumstances is immediately condemned, even in its initial entrance.

  B. The older son was unjustifiably angry (Lk. 15: 28). His anger also resulted in bad conduct (vs. 29, 30).

  C. Anger is often progressive, producing wrath and malice (Col. 3: 8).

  D. Anger is also associated with sins of the tongue (Col. 3: 8). James wrote, "The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God" (Jas. 1: 20).

  E. Bitterness is often the cause of unjustified anger (Eph. 4: 31).

  F. If we allow anger to remain and become out of control, even justified anger can sometimes become a sin (Eph. 4: 26, 27). This is the meaning of "neither give place to the devil" (Ibid.).

III. As true with all emotions, anger must be controlled and properly directly.

  A. As seen, in some cases anger must not be present. For instance, we must not ever be angry with God and his word (Jas. 1: 18-21).

  B. In this age of "if it feels good, do it," anger is rampant. Anger can be mastered, though (2 Pet. 1: 5-11, cp. Prov. 25: 28).

     Conclusion:  Sinful anger often affects others, causes us to say and do things we later regret, and is an indication of lack of maturity and control on our part.