ANGER! We have all had it, felt it, shared it, deserved it and sometimes even got sick over it!
Anger is an emotion. It's sort of like the inverse of charity, “love” if you will. We're suppose to love others as we do ourselves. Jesus told us that. However, of all the sins charity is the hardest to overcome! If you are by nature a person with a calm disposition then you are indeed blessed!
What is anger? We believe it to be our righteous indignation in response to the stupidity, hate, behavior or actions of another, but our anger lies within us, not within others. Their anger lies within them.
Those of us (everyone) who have been angry know it's not a good feeling. It has symptoms just as a disease would. It's a disease of the spirit that is manifested in the flesh. We know when we're angry because we feel it. It can start slowly then like a volcano erupt or it can come on us at other times as a flash of lightening. Either way we stew in our emotions and “relive” the event, oftentimes recounting over and over how we could have ruled supreme over our perceived adversary.
Anger is when we're enraged at the perceived or actual provocation of another. (It can be real or imaginary provocation). While the definition points toward others as the source of our anger, we can also get angry at ourselves. For instance, if we do something stupid or rash, we know we're in error and get “mad” at ourselves for making the mistake or reacting the way we did. People who are really good at anger, even when the fault lies within themselves, perceive it to be the fault of others and then blame the other person for their own self-induced anger.
Anger has several outcomes: disappointment (displeasure), worry, rudeness, condemnation, screaming, cursing, acts of violence, and even sickness. On the other hand a person may be in self-control and merely brush it off or even laugh at the event which “ticked” them off. The latter people may be angels unawares because anger is not only a human emotion, but is also a curse as well.
Disappointment is not a sin. Although we not to worry and place confidence in Jesus, worry is still real, but it is self-centered.
Jesus posed a good question! Luke 12:25 (NIV) “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?”
Likewise, he tells us not to worry: Matthew 6:34 (NIV) “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Although the Bible nowhere says that worry in itself is sinful, worry can take our eyes off Jesus and even make us depressed.
Depression has two modes. It can either be “clinical depression: where our brain fails to transmit signals properly through the brain's synapses or it may be “emotional depression”. There are valid reasons where we may be depressed such as a death in the family, but most often depression is just common natural sadness. It's the latter we can control rationally and spiritually, but clinical depression requires medical treatment. By controlling anger we have taken the first step at controlling depression.
Rudeness, condemnation, screaming, cursing, and acts of violence are sinful outcomes or anger. We are to have self-control. Lack of self-control is among the major sins:
2 Timothy 3:2 (NIV) “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—“. Note that lack of self-control is mentioned as an equal sin to being “unholy”! Yes, you are unholy if you lack self-control!
On the other hand Paul speaks of self-control from a positive direction: Galatians 5:23 “gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” The antidote for anger is self-control. God doesn't leave us by ourselves to practice self-control though. It's sort of a misnomer or for a Christian, an oxymoron. What I mean that is we have a Comforter to help us through life. That Comforter is the Holy Spirit and if we're sanctified God's Spirit is always there to help us.
John 14:26 (KJV) “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
When you're angry, when you're depressed or when you're tempted the Holy Spirit will bring God's Word to your memory and in God's Word is hope, charity, gentleness, self-control, etc. We don't have to depend on ourselves, we can lean on Jesus!
Lastly, let us discuss “sickness”. Sickness is not a sin, but sin can make us sick! Who wants to be sick? The answer is obvious, so why do we get so angry at times that we stew in our anger to the point of nausea or depression? Here we go again! Depression. It has dire physical symptoms just like anger. Depression is more than feeling sad. It entails loss of pleasure or thoughts of death.
Psychopaths take pleasure in anger. They don't have the same emotional responses to events that normal people do. They may take joy in being angry or even have feelings of euphoria when angry. Some may just be totally void of feelings at all. My question: To those who continue in anger, why do you want to be as a psychopath?
Anger is stressful to people other than psychopaths and has the same symptoms as stress, even to the extent at having a heart attack. The amygdala, the part of the brain that deals with emotion, is going crazy. Extreme anger can feel like a volcano erupting inside and acid dumping into the stomach. You become nauseous. The “stress” associated with anger is immediate and comes before the depression one may feel, which lingers on and on if we let it. Continued stress can cause early death and then one has a right to be depressed.
Anger can be righteous. God's anger is always justifiable and righteous. When people have righteous anger it's called indignation. We get aroused by some injustice. (You can all see my indignation at the treatment of Paula Deen)!
Rage is acting out on anger. Rage is acting out furiously. It may involve either physical or mental violence to another or even exposing oneself to danger. Many times people hurt themselves when angry at others!
Wrath is when force is used and is done in vengeance. Wrath is an outcome of the rage we feel. If we continue in sin we will suffer the righteous wrath of God.
Ire is the opposite of cheerful and happy. Our anger is when ireful is gloom and doom. That's not a Christian way to present yourself to what God as done for you!
Resentment is when we're aggrieved. We inflict unpleasantness on ourselves. We dwell in our predicament and keep reliving the scenario. Resentment is inclined toward the depression we may feel. Resentment can lead to planned revenge. Most often a person plans the revenge, but doesn't act out on it. Many times resentment's revenge is de-friending someone (Not Facebook De-friend, but real life). Scripture tells us to befriend! We are to love one another.
If you'll notice the repetitive use of “ourselves” in the preceding text, you'll find that anger is self-centered. I AM the person who gets angry. I AM the one who feel stressed. I AM the one who gets sick. I AM the one who may die young. I AM the one who is not in self-control. I AM the one who is sinning. Each of us have the same problem Adam had. We're proud and self-centered. We want to be as powerful and knowledgeable as God. We won't consider that, let lone admit it, but that's how God sees us!
Although self-control is the way to prevent unrighteous anger, that type of control is a gift of God. Only by seeking and finding God can we truly control ourselves and our anger!
Luke 11:10 “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Knock and the door will be opened. Jesus answers!