We live in an age where people are angry. We see road rage over the least driving mishap. We see religious rage when people don’t agree with their belief. We see people angry with the police because of mistreatment. We see the police angry because they feel no one has their backs. Men are raging against women who have taken over the workforce. Women are angry because men are against them rising up in society. We see minorities angry because they are still being discriminated against. We are seeing white people angry because they feel like the new minority. Poor people are in a rage against the rich because they have to work three jobs just to make ends meet. The rich are in a rage against the poor because they feel wages are rising too fast. We see political rage because some feel they are not being represented. Democrats are angry at the Republicans. Republicans are angry at the Democrats. Both lying against each other just to get elected. Terrorist are raging against the innocent of the world. The world justifiably is raging against terrorist. Let’s face it, the world is in a total rage!
Do you know how to be angry? Most do not know how to be angry and “sin not.” Anger, as an emotion, is as much a part of man as is love and fear. It is unrestrained, uncontrolled anger that becomes sinful. Too often we allow anger to control our minds and tongues, and we wind up doing and saying things that are hurtful and unkind.
Sometimes the occasion of the anger and the victim of the bitter and abusive tongue are far removed. Unfortunately, it is those we love the most upon whom we feel free to vent our anger by an out-of-control barrage of lethal verbiage. We know we could not as easily get by with telling our boss off as we would our husband or wife. Which seems to indicate the possibility of control or restraint when there is reasonable cause.
Words picked at random and hurled with anger are usually unreasonable and unfair. They are indicative of an emotion that is overflowing from an individual who maintains no rule over his own spirit (Prov. 27:4; 25:28).
As mentioned, we more often take advantage of loved ones, but occasionally this anger is exposed to brethren, and worse yet, to unbelievers. Such is damaging to a Christian’s influence. He who cannot control his anger and his tongue cannot present a picture of temperance and godly living to the world.
The Apostle Paul wrote that anger is a work of the flesh and should be laid aside, cast off, as you would remove and throw away an old filthy garment (Gal. 5:20 f; Col. 3:8). Anger is classed along with doubting as that which will interfere with a man’s prayers (Jam. 1:6 f; 1 Tim. 2:8).
Uncontrolled anger always has a negative effect on people, even when the angry one is correct in his position. Solomon knew this and said, “A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Prov. 15:1). Christians should not yield to an eye for an eye or fighting fire with fire. Untamed anger destroys the soul. The manner in which I address a man can help determine his response to the truth. It is a sobering thought. Shall I lose my inheritance in the kingdom of God because of my anger? Shall I contribute to the loss of someone else’s soul because of my angry words? God forbid.
“Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Eph 4:26-27). “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph 4:29-32).