Thursday, April 29, 2010

Anger "Management," Part Four: God's View

(Playing catch-up?  Read Parts I, II, and III.)

It's no secret that God doesn't want us to be angry.  But exactly what does He say about it?

In Galatians 5 anger (wrath) is listed among the evil works of the flesh, along with such things as adultery, witchcraft, and even murder!

In the classic "put off/put on" passage (Ephesians 4), Paul exhorts us to put away anger, along with lying, theft, and evil speech.

Apparently, the church at Colosse needed the same reminder; Paul urges them to do away with anger, too.

James challenges us to be slow to anger (wrath), because our anger will not produce righteousness.  Anger is counterproductive to our goal of Christlikeness!

Proverbs 19 warns, "A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment..."  Actually, Proverbs is replete with exhortations regarding anger!

Angry retailiation is forbidden in Romans 12.  Vengeance belongs only to God, who deals in righteous wrath.

And Proverbs 22:24 even warns us not to be friends with those who are angry!

:::The Bottom Line:::
Anger is an evil work of our sinful flesh, a forbidden sin that must be continually cast off.  Anger is the enemy of righteousness, and it brings severe punishment.

What kind of punishment are we talking about here?  A few examples recorded for us in Scripture:

  • Cain suffered a lifelong curse.

  • King Saul's anger cost him his reputation, his kingdom, and eventually his life.

  • King Asa suffered military defeat, contracted a foot disease, and died prematurely.

  • Haman was hanged on the gallows.

  • Ahab's anger results in evil upon his descendants. 
God takes anger seriously, and we should, too! 

Lord, help me to see myself through your eyes!  Make me a doer of your Word, not just a hearer!