Anger is an emotion that Satan capitalizes on. Anger can drives us to hate, blind us from reason, and urge us to act in hostile or violent ways. Anger can encourage us to justify sin both from ourselves and others. Anger can cause us to make rash decisions that ultimately hurt others and ourselves. If anger consumes us, it affects our relationships and our health. When our actions are driven by a prideful unrestrained anger, the results are disastrous. The Bible tells us that out of unbridled anger, Cain killed his brother Abel. Saul, consumed with a jealous anger, sought the life of David. Our Lord Christ suffered under the anger of those who opposed him. Paul, before his conversion, had believers killed out of anger. These are only a few examples the Bible gives. Destructive anger is not what Christ taught us.
Yet anger itself is necessary. It is designed by God, to give us a sense of what is unjust and evil. Christ experienced anger, but it did not consume him. His anger was at sin, evil, and the desecration of what was holy. His anger was righteous, and under control. His motives for were never prideful or selfish, but for the purpose of God.
Our anger needs to be controlled and kept in accordance with our Christian lives. Our anger should never overtake Christ’s command to love. In the Christian life, anger is the recognition of a wrong, but it does not lead to revenge or hatred. Anger must always lead to love, peace, and forgiveness. This is the challenge Christ puts before us. Stripped, beaten, and nailed to a cross, Christ had reason to be angry, but he forgave. Follow his example.
Readings: Gen 4:1-12, John 2:13-25, Prov 29:11, Titus 3:1-8