SINFUL ANGER

Scripture Reading: I Samuel 18:6-11

“And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, ‘They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?’ And Saul eyed David from that day on.” (I Samuel 18:8,9)

Saul became angry because of David’s success. He was jealous of David and did not like the following David had from the people. In fact, Saul became paranoid and thought that David wanted to take the kingdom away from him. Saul’s anger was sinful and destructive. It led to fear, distrust, jealousy and envy. “And Saul eyed David from that day on.”

All anger is not sinful. Jesus became angry (Matthew 21:12,13). There is a type of anger that is a form of righteous indignation. There are things that we should be angry over — abuse, mistreatment of others, blasphemy against God, injustice, persecution, etc. The Scripture says, “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:26,27).

Anger becomes sinful when it is not controlled. People usually react in one of two ways when they don’t control their anger — they either blow up or they clam up. Some blow up and have outbursts of anger, while others internalize their anger. In either case, anger is not being controlled. We must accept the fact that sinful anger is a serious offense against God (Matthew 5:21-24).

The book of Proverbs has much to say about sinful anger. Here are a few verses from it:

“A man of great anger shall bear the penalty, for if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again” (Proverbs 19:19).

“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but the wise man hold it back” (Proverbs 29:11).

“For the churning of milk produces butter, and pressing the nose brings forth blood; so the churning of anger produces strife” (Proverbs 30:33).

“Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot tempered man, lest you learn his ways and find a snare for yourself” (Proverbs 22:24).

“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city” (Proverbs 16:32).

“Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit” (Proverbs 25:28).

Lord Jesus, forgive me for the many times I have not controlled my anger. I realize that anger is a sin against You as well as against those with whom I express my anger. Give me the ability to control my emotions, especially when I get angry. I know You are present in me and will give me the power to have self-control and to love rather than to be bitter.

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