“But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.”
“Wrath” is the second of six sins to divest, like dirty clothes.
“Wrath” is acute explosions of anger (2 Cor. 12:20; Gal. 5:20; Eph. 4:31). The word for “wrath” means the mind or the spirit that breathes out an intense passion of the mind. It is the animus, the outworking of fermenting in the mind. It is the demonstration of strong passion which may issue in revenge, though it does not necessarily include it. A wrathful person is a person who deals with difficult situations by explosive outbursts.
We then distinguish “wrath” from “anger.” “Anger” is the abiding, settled habit of the mind, the settled intent of irritation toward others. “Wrath” is the turbulent commotion of the mind, rage. “Anger” is the heat of the fire, and “wrath” is the bursting forth in flame. “Anger” is less sudden in its rise but more lasting. “Wrath” is a more agitated or frenzied condition. It is more of a state of intense anger with outbursts of passionate anger coming from indignation. “Anger” is a more settled and abiding condition of the attitude frequently to take revenge. It is less sudden in its rise but more lasting in its nature.
“Anger” expresses inward feeling. It is more active than “wrath.” “Wrath” may produce revenge but does not necessarily include it. Characteristically it blazes up quickly and promptly subsides, although that may not happen in each case.
“Wrath” is found 18 times in the New Testament (10 of which are in the book of Revelation). Seven passages refer to the wrath of God (Rom. 2:8). Everywhere else, the New Testament uses it in a bad sense. “Wrath” and “anger” couple in two places in Revelation (Re 16:19; 19:15).
Since the wrathful person has not taken the time to develop his character, he cannot control his anger. Some excuse themselves by saying that they have a “quick temper.” An excuse is a rationalization that tries to explain away or justify sin. Christianity should go beyond church attendance; it should affect our daily lives. Christianity should affect both our attitudes and actions.
Others excuse their explosive temper by saying that they are expressing themselves and speaking their mind: “I am a forward person; I say what I think.” A mouth out of control never shows the character of Christianity. It manifests weakness and selfishness.
Temper tantrums are non-Christian.
A wrathful person carries turbulent emotions. Some people believe that if they violently display their anger, it is a wonderful and effective way to communicate with others. They think that if they throw tantrums, they can get their way. Tantrums are just emotions of anger out of whack or out of control.
A wrathful person is someone with a short fuse and a vicious temper. An individual with a short fuse has great difficulty in hiding his temper. Other people with long fuses give the impression that they are docile and easy-going. In reality, they are a bomb ticking, ready to go off with the right detonator. The detonators are usually jealousy and resentment.
It does not take much for some of us to lose our temper. It would be nice to lose it and not find it again, but we always seem to find it again. We are not long-tempered but very short-tempered. If we have a short fuse, it does not take long for us to blow.
What is it that makes you angrier than anything else? Go to God’s Word and memorize verses that deal with incendiary anger. Write down those passages.
Temper tantrums are generally the direct result of frustration. Explosive anger comes from thwarting strong desire. Throwing a temper tantrum is similar to the child who kicks, stamps his feet, jumps up and down, bites, screams, and throws himself on the floor or holds his breath or sobs hysterically.
Someone said a rattlesnake will accidentally bite itself if it gets angry enough. Harboring hate against others often results in biting ourselves. We think we hurt others by holding anger inside, but we hurt ourselves the most.