“But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.”
“Anger” is the first of six sins the Christian is to disrobe.
“Anger” here is chronic resentment, a settled state of anger. Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8; 1 Tim. 2:8; Jas. 1:19 use anger of the wrath of man. “Anger” combines both anger and revenge (sanguinary revenge). It is the animus, the working and fermenting of the mind, the demonstration of strong passion (which may issue in anger or revenge, though it does not necessarily include it). It is the native character, disposition or temper of the mind.
Anger can be a virtue because it is used of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 3:5) and God’s anger with Israel in the wilderness (Heb. 3:11; 4:3). In John 3:36 it is used of those who disobey the gospel. God purpose in judgment is seen in such passages as Matt. 3:7; Luke 3:7; Rom. 1:18 2:5, 8; 3:5; 5:9; 12:19; Eph. 2:3; 5:6; Col. 3:6; 1 Thes. 1:10; 5:9. The focal point in God’s anger is discipline of evil.
There is then a justified anger. We use justified anger when our anger is objective, not subjective. The Lord Jesus was angry at the Pharisees because of their hard hearts. The problem of good or bad anger revolves around the object of our anger.
Anger originates from jealousy and resentment which produce chain sinning.
Anger reveals the instability of character. Lack of emotional control comes out of anger.
Jealousy and resentment give birth to many repercussions. These sins lead to chain sinning. Jealousy and resentment short-circuit everything in the soul.
Anger will take revenge on others. It often wants to get even. It may hurl threats. When we develop an orientation to anger, everything in the soul gets out of kilter. Anger will attempt to down grade others because of the desire for revenge. The person may wake up because of guilt and say, “This is not me. Generally, I am a wonderful person.” Then he takes another dive into anger throwing a match on a pile of fireworks. Jealousy and resentment originating from anger produce criticism, nagging, judging, maligning, overt revenge and emotions out of kilter.
Some of us may never become disposed to murder, rape or commit adultery but we may become tempted to express our anger unjustly. Yet anger is the prerogative of God and is an attempt to act like God. When we exercise anger we pour poison in our souls; it will sour our spirit.
This is the first article of clothing God wants us to divest. God wants us to get rid of that silent, abiding anger. Something that lasts like this is difficult to eradicate from our lives. It is an inveterate, slow burning, long-lasting, smoldering anger which refuses to be pacified. We love to nurse anger to keep it warm.
This is a person who has been angry so long that anger has become part of his makeup. Anger is the basis of his operations. He views all life from this vantage point. He becomes hostile, belligerent, warlike in his dealings with everyone. His loved ones may have the kindest of intentions toward him but he takes it wrong. He is adverse to everything, anything and anybody. It makes no difference whether there has been any factual wrong. He will suppose you are wronging him. His anger is a curved mirror which distorts all his relationships. He carries his hurt because he supposes you are hurting him in everything he does.
Life is too short to nurture hurts. Anger hurts the person exercising anger more than the object of their anger. Frequent fits of anger produce in the soul a propensity toward bitterness and morosity. The mind then becomes ulcerated, peevish, querulous and wounded by the least occasion. Anger is the wind that blows out the light of reason.
Prov 16:32, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”
Anger feeds anger. It grows upon itself. The anger of one person can make another person angry. It is a contagious attitude.