* God doesn’t use his anger to judge us
Cain was severely punished for this murder. God judges all sins and punishes appropriately, but not simply out of anger or vengeance. Rather, God’s punishment is meant to correct us and restore our fellowship with him. When you’re corrected, don’t resent it. Instead, renew your fellowship with God. (NLT)
Genesis 4:11-15 – You are hereby banished from the ground you have defiled with your brother’s blood. No longer will it yield abundant crops for you, no matter how hard you work! From now on you will be a homeless fugitive on the earth, constantly wandering from place to place.”
Cain replied to the Lord, “My punishment is too great for me to bear! You have banished me from my land and from your presence; you have made me a wandering fugitive. All who see me will try to kill me!”
The Lord replied, “They will not kill you, for I will give seven times your punishment to anyone who does.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain to warn anyone who might try to kill him.
* God’s anger versus God’s patience
In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, we see two facets of God’s character: his great patience (agreeing to spare a wicked city for 10 good people) and his fierce anger (destroying both cities). As we grow spiritually, we should find ourselves developing nto only a deeper respect for God because of his anger toward sin but also a deeper love for God because of his patience when we sin. (NLT)
Genesis 19:24 – Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the heavens on Sodom and Gomorrah.
* Anger blinds us to our wrongdoing
Esau was so angry at Jacob that he failed to see his own wrong in giving away the birthright in the first place. Jealous anger blinds us from seeing the benefits we have and makes us dwell on what we don’t have. (NLT)
* Controlling anger
When Esau lost the valuable family blessing, his future suddenly changed. Reacting in anger, he decided to kill Jacob. When you lose something of great value, or if others conspire against you and succeed, anger is the first and most natural reaction. But you can control your feelings by (1) recognizing your reaction for what it is, (2) praying for strength, and (3) asking God for help to see the opportunities that even your bad situation may provide. (NLT)
Genesis 27:41 – Esau hated Jacob because he had stolen his blessing, and he said to himself, “My father will soon be dead and gone. Then I will kill Jacob.”
* Anger resulting from wounded pride
The donkey saved Balaam’s life but made him look foolish in the process, so Balaam lashed out at the donkey. We sometimes strike out at blameless people who get in our way because we are embarrassed or our pride is hurt. Lashing out at others can be a sign that something is wrong with us. Don’t allow your own hurt pride to lead you to hurt others. (NLT)
Numbers 22:29 – “Because you have made me look like a fool!” Balaam shouted. “If I had a sword with me, I would kill you!”
* Using anger constructively –
Anger is a powerful emotion. Often it may drive people to hurt others with words or physical violence. But anger directed at sin and the mistreatment of others is not wrong. Saul was angered by the Ammonites’ threat to humiliate and mistreat his fellow Israelites. The Holy Spirit used Saul’s anger to bring justice and freedom. When injustice or sin makes you angry, ask God how you can channel that anger in constructive ways to help bring about a positive change. (NLT)
1 Samuel 11:6 – Then the Spirit of God came mightily upon Saul, and he became very angry.
* – Jesus was angry about the Pharisees’ uncaring attitudes. Anger itself is not wrong. It depends on what makes us angry and what we do with our anger. Too often we express our anger in selfish and harmful ways. By contract, Jesus expressed his anger by correcting a problem–healing the man’s hand. Use your anger to find constructive solutions rather than to tear people down. (NLT)
Mark 3:5 – He looked around at them angrily, because he was deeply disturbed by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Reach out your hand.” The man reached out his hand, and it became normal again!
* – The Bible doesn’t tell us that we shouldn’t feel angry, but it points out that it is important to handle our anger properly. If vented thoughtlessly, anger can hurt others and destroy relationships. If bottled up inside, it can cause us to become bitter and destroy us from within. Paul tells us to deal with our anger immediately in a way that builds relationships rather than destroys them. If we nurse our anger, we will give Satan an opportunity to divide us. Are you angry with someone right now? What can you do to resolve your differences? Don’t let the day end before you begin to work on mending your relationship. (NLT)
Ephesians 4:26-27 – And “don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.
* Anger can lead to hatred and murder
After hearing God’s judgment, Ahab went home to pout. Driven by anger and rebellion against God, he had a fit of rage when Naboth refused to sell his vineyard. The same feelings that led him to a career of power grabbing drove hin to resent Naboth. Age turned to hatred and led to murder. Naboth, however, wanted to uphold God’s laws: It was considered a duty to keep ancestral land in the family. This incident shows the cruel interplay between Ahab and Jezebel, two of the most wicked leaders in Israel’s history. (NLT)
1 Kings 21:4 – So Ahab went home angry and sullen because of Naboth’s answer. The king went to bed with his face to the wall and refused to eat!
* Learning from God’s anger
Like a shot given by a doctor, the discomfort of God’s anger lasts only a moment, but the good effects go on for a long time. Let God’s anger be a sharp pain that warns you to turn from sin. (NLT)
Psalm 30:5 – His anger lasts for a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning.
* Anger takes our focus off God
Anger, rage, and envy are very destructive emotions. They reveal a lack of faith that God loves us and is in control. We should not worry; instead, we should trust in God, giving ourselves to him for his use and safekeeping. When you dwell on your problems, you will become anxious and angry. But if you concentrate on God and his goodness, you will find peace. Where do you focus your attention? (NLT)
Psalm 37:8-9 – Stop your anger! Turn from your rage! Do not envy others—it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.
* When God’s patience gives way to anger
God’s anger against Israel had grown hot during the many years of their sin and idolatry. His patience endured for generations, but at last it was set aside for judgment. If you fall into sin but quickly seek God’s forgiveness, his mercy may come quickly and his anger may leave quickly. If you persist in sinning against him, don’t be surprised when his patience runs out. (NLT)
Psalm 74:1-2 – O God, why have you rejected us forever? Why is your anger so intense against the sheep of your own pasture? Remember that we are the people you chose in ancient times, the tribe you redeemed as your own special possession! And remember Jerusalem, your home here on earth.
* Danger of words spoken in anger
What you say and what you don’t say are both important. To use proper speech you must not only say the right words at the right time but also not say what you shouldn’t. Examples of an untamed tongue include gossiping, putting others down, bragging, manipulating, false teaching, exaggerating, complaining, flattering, and lying. Before you speak, ask: Is what I want to say true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?
James compares the damage the tongue can do to a raging fire–the tongue’s wickedness has its source in hell itself. The uncontrolled tongue can do terrible damage. Satan uses the tongue to divide people and pit them against one another. Idle and hateful words are damaging because they spread destruction quickly, and no one can stop the results once they are spoken. We dare not be careless with what we say, thinking we can apologize later, because even if we do, the scars remain. A few words spoken in anger can destroy a relationship that took years to build. Before you speak, remember that words are like fire–you can neither control nor reverse the damage they can do.
James 3:2-6 – We all make many mistakes, but those who control their tongues can also control themselves in every other way. We can make a large horse turn around and go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a tiny rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot wants it to go, even though the winds are strong. So also, the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness that can ruin your whole life. It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
* Jesus’ anger toward money changers –
This is the second time Jesus cleared the Temple. Merchants and money changers set up their booths in the Court of the Gentiles in the Temple, crowding out the Gentiles who had come from all over the civilized world to worship God. The merchants sold sacrificial animals at high prices, taking advantage of those who had come long distances. The money changers exchanged all international currency for the special Temple coins—the only money the merchants would accept. They often deceived foreigners who didn’t know the exchange Rates. Their commercialism in God’s house frustrated people’s attempts at worship. This, of course, greatly angered Jesus. Any practice that interferes with worshiping God should be stopped. (NLT)
Matthew 21:12 – Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants and their customers. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the stalls of those selling doves.
* When anger is appropriate
It is clear from Phinehas’s story that some anger is proper and justified. Phinehas was angry because of his zeal for the Lord. But how can we know when our anger is appropriate and when it should be restrained? Ask these questions when you become angry: (1) Why am I angry? (2) Whose rights are being violated (mine or another’s)? (3) Is the truth (a principle of God) being violated? If only your rights are at stake, it may be wiser to keep angry feelings under control. But if the truth is at stake, anger is often justified; although violence and retaliation are usually the wrong way to express it (Phinehas’s case was unique). If we are becoming more and more like God, we should be angered by sin. (NLT)
Numbers 25:10-11 – Then the Lord said to Moses, “Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest has turned my anger away from the Israelites by displaying passionate zeal among them on my behalf. So I have stopped destroying all Israel as I had intended to do in my anger.
* – Jesus was obviously angry at the merchants who exploited those who had come to God’s house to worship. There is a difference between uncontrolled rage and righteous indignation—yet both are called anger. We must be very careful how we use the powerful emotion of anger. It is right to be angry about injustice and sin; it is wrong to be angry over trivial personal offenses. (NLT)
John 2:15-16 – Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and oxen, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Don’t turn my Father’s house into a marketplace!”
* – These verses speak of anger that erupts when our ego is bruised: “I am hurt;” “My opinions are not being heard.” When injustice and sin occur, we should become angry because others are being hurt. But we should not become angry when we fail to win an argument or when we feel offended or neglected. Selfish anger never helps anybody. (NLT)
James 1:19-20 – My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight.
* Why God is angry with sinful people
Why is God angry at sinful people? Because they have substituted the truth about him with a fantasy of their own imagination. They have stifled the truth God naturally reveals to all people in order to believe anything that supports their own self-centered life-styles. God cannot tolerate sin because his nature is morally perfect. He cannot ignore or condone willful rebellion. God wants to remove the sin and restore the sinner—and he is able to, as long as the sinner does not stubbornly distort or reject the truth. But God shows his anger against those who persist in sinning. Make sure you are not pursuing a fantasy rather than the true God. Don’t suppress the truth about him merely to protect your own life-style. (NLT)
Romans 1:18 – But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves.
* Determine why you are angry with others’ sins
Whenever we find ourselves feeling justifiably angry about someone’s sin, we should be careful. We need to speak out against sin, but we must do so in a spirit of humility. Often the sins we notice most clearly in others are the ones that have taken root in us. If we look closely at ourselves, we may find that we are committing the same sins in more socially acceptable forms. For example, a person who gossips may be very critical of others who gossip about him or her. (NLT)
Romans 2:1 – You may be saying, “What terrible people you have been talking about!” But you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you do these very same things.
* Venting anger under the guise of discipline
We use church discipline to help keep the church pure and to help wayward people repent. But Satan tries to harm the church by tempting it to use discipline in an unforgiving way. This causes those exercising discipline to become proud of their purity, and it causes the person who is being disciplined to become bitter and perhaps leave the church. We must remember that our purpose in discipline is to restore a person to the fellowship, not to destroy hi or her. We must be cautious that personal anger is not vented under the guise of church discipline. (NLT)
2 Corinthians 2:11 – so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are very familiar with his evil schemes.
* Do you get angry when confronted?
Paul did not gain great popularity when he rebuked he Galatians for turning away from their first faith in Christ. Human nature hasn’t changed much—we still get angry when we’re scolded. But don’t write off someone who challenges you. There may be truth in what he or she says. Receive his or her words with humility; carefully think them over. If you discover that you need to change an attitude or action, take steps to do it. (NLT)
Galatians 4:16 – Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth?
* Don’t discipline out of anger
The purpose of parental discipline is to help children grow, not to exasperate and provoke them to anger or discouragement. Parenting is not easy—it takes lots of patience to raise children in a loving, Christ-honoring manner. But frustration and anger should not be causes for discipline. Instead, parents should act in love, treating their children as Jesus treats the people he loves. This is vital to children’s development and to their understanding of what Christ is like. (NLT)
Ephesians 6:4 – And now a word to you fathers. Don’t make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.
* Anger is a dangerous emotion
Killing is a terrible sin, but angr is agreat sin, too. Because it also violates God’s command to love. Anger in this case refers to a seething, brooding bitterness against someone, It is a dangerous emotion that always threatens to leap out of control, leading to violence, emotional hurt, increased mental stress, and spiritual damage. Anger keeps us from developing a spirit pleasing to God. Have you ever been proud that you didn’t strike out and say what was really on your mind? Self-control is good, but Christ wants us to practice thought-control as well. Jesus said that we will be held accountable even for our attitudes.
Broken relationships can hinder our relationship with God. If we have a problem or grievance with a friend, we should resolve the problem as soon as possible. We are hypocrites if we claim to love God while we hate others. Our attitudes toward others reflect our relationship with God.
Matthew 5:21-24 – [Jesus said] “You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.”
“So if you are standing before the altar in the Temple, offering a sacrifice to God, and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there beside the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.”
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