Misconceptions about Anger

Is anger always negative and sinful? Do you try to hide your anger from others and even from yourself?

Misunderstandings about anger give this powerful emotion a less than positive reputation! If you are blind to God’s purposes for anger and if you are afraid of revealing your true feelings, you may be in bondage to undefined or false guilt. The Bible says in Psalm 51:6 “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.”

Many people wonder about the sinfulness of anger, and ask: “Is it a sin for me to be angry?” According to the Bible in Ephesians 4:26, it is not a sin to have anger, but it says, “In your anger do not sin.” The initial feeling of anger is a God-given emotion. The way you respond and express this emotion determines whether or not you allow your anger to become sin.

“Why then do I feel guilty when I got angry?” Anger is a signal that something is wrong.  The red warning light on the dashboard of a car is a signal something is wrong with a car. The purpose of the light is to propel you to action … to cause you to stop, to check what is wrong, and then to take proper action.  When a person gets angry it might signal something is wrong, action has to be taken, but how it will be expressed is either God honouring or not.  Jesus became angry at the hypocritical religious leaders who interpreted “resting on the Sabbath” excessively – even to the extent that healing the sick on the Sabbath was worthy of the death penalty. As a result, He fully restored a man’s crippled hand on the Sabbath. Mark 3:5 “He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.”

“Can people mask anger?” “Can people be really angry even when they don’t look or sound angry?” Many people have difficulty expressing or even recognising their emotions. Instead, they have learned to deny, ignore, or repress their anger by burying it deep within their hearts. However, it is not hidden from God, who sees it and understands it. 1 Samuel 16:7 “The Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’ ” The problem with hidden or masked anger is that it might have implications in interpersonal relationships and even the body takes a hit.

Many ask, “How can a God of love be a God of wrath at the same time?” Because of God’s great love for you, He directs His anger toward anyone or anything that thwarts His perfect plan for you. God’s anger never operates independently of His love. He expresses anger on your behalf and for your ultimate good. Psalm 30:5 “His anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime.”