“Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.”
“Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past … to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back — in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.”
What really happens when I get angry? I suppose my B/P goes up and I get all red, but just perhaps it’s a bit more than that. The Bible is painfully clear on the subject of anger. It seems there is an anger that is righteous; and one that is unrighteous. It is the latter I’m most familiar with, unfortunately. And repeatedly our anger, the earthly kind, is condemned by Scripture. It is terribly wrong, and it is sin.
Merriam-Webster defines anger as “a strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism, or rage.” This definition seems right on. First–it’s a strong feeling. There is an intensity to it, and it ‘clouds’ my sense of what is reasonable. Second–it has some form of frustration and irritation. Third–it escalates into “rage.” And I suppose that anger at this particular level is where it really, really gets destructive. At this point we become totally irrational and unbelievably destructive. When we get to this point we become “fools.”
I remember clearly having a dog that killed a chicken. My dad took the carcass and wired it to the dogs neck. After some time that chicken began to rot. It putrefied to the point where pieces of that carcass started to fall off. I can still see the dog’s eyes rolling, and he was slobbering all over. the place. That dog never even touched another chicken. It completely cure him. (I suppose the ASPCA would object today.)
I suppose that is what carnal anger is like. It’s something that we carry around and it defiles us. We learn that evil attaches itself to each of us and pollutes us. We soon realize that this kind of life is really death. When anger is attached to us, we are poisoned inside. Someone once said that “he who angers you, conquers you.”
“No matter how just your words might be, you ruin everything when you speak with anger.”
There is another kind of anger though. It’s the kind that is turned on when we are angry with ourselves. We call this “self-condemnation.” Internalized disgust with yourself is extremely corrosive to our personality and our spirits. Instead of an authentic confidence in what Jesus’ has done, we look inside with hate, anger and disgust. We condemn and put ourselves under a twisted form of justice that is not biblical, nor is it true.
When we become angry with ourselves (and yes, we sin constantly) we dismiss the sacrifice of Jesus and His forgiveness. We become a law unto ourselves, and we pass a guilty judgement on our sinfulness. Christians are quite often ‘crippled’ by self-condemnation and a vicious guilt. Perhaps we are the most ‘visible’ when it comes to this kind of self-hatred.
Satan is the prime instigator of this attack. He desires to split you from fellowship with God. That is the way he functions, you might say that this is his evil ‘ministry.’ His specialty is guilt, an inciting an unholy anger which we turn inward. We give him the right to accuse us before God. We no longer see the blood of Christ as our covering for our sin. He indicts us before a holy God, and all we see is our guilt. Is it any wonder that we are angry with ourselves?
“The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have now come. The accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accused them day and night before our God, has been thrown down.” (Revelation 12:10)
I suppose this anger at ourselves is perhaps our most difficult challenge we face. More believers are ‘hamstrung’ by this than any other sin. When we turn on ourselves, we become angry and self-condemned. We avoid His healing presence, His Word and the fellowship of other saints. Most of all, we don’t want to pray or worship.
Dear one, come to Jesus, and bring along your issues. He is the one who loves you. He died, and He has covered you with His blood. He is God’s Passover lamb who takes away all your sin. Jesus’ present day ministry is not just sitting on a golden throne, He is actively interceding for you even as you read this.
” He poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:12)
Your forgiven brother,