Good Anger or Bad Anger?
December 16, 2020
Good Anger or Bad Anger?
Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one. -B. Franklin
*Remember: No matter your emotional struggle, God’s Word contains the prescription for change and He will perform that change as you cooperate with Him in sanctification.
I. Is Anger or Sinful? (Eph 4:26-27)
A. Righteous Anger
1. God becomes angry. (Ps 7:11; Ex 4:14; Deut 29:27-28).
2. Jesus becomes angry. (Mk 3:1-6; Jn 2:13-17).
3. Paul became angry (Acts 16:17-18; 17:16).
B. Sinful Anger (Jas 1:20; Col 3:8)
1. Cain was offended because his offering was, in his mind, “” rejected by God, while his brother’s was accepted. He killed his brother (Gen 4:1-8).
2. Herodias was angry at John for rebuking her sin publicly. She had him
beheaded (Mk 6:18-29).
3. Jewish leaders were angry at Stephen for calling upon them to repent of killing the Messiah. They stoned him to death (Acts 7:51-60).
4. The prodigal son’s brother was angry about not being treated better than his brother, believing himself to it more. He despised the restoration of his own brother (Lk 15:25-32).
5. Jonah was angered over his enemy’s repentance instead of their ruin. He first tried to run away from helping them and later became suicidal (Jon 4:1-11).
6. King Ahab became “vexed” after being denied a desire to buy Naboth’s
vineyard. He would not eat and eventually approved a plot to have Naboth stoned (1 Kgs 21:1-4; Lev 25:23-28; Num 36:7-9).
7. King Saul became very angry that David received more attention and acceptance than he, the king. He pursed David with the intent to kill him (1 Sam 18:6-11).
8. Moses became angry at the rebellion of the people. He disobeyed God by striking the rock twice (Num 20:1-13).
9. Ten disciples became indignant when the mother of James and John petitioned Jesus to give her sons an exalted, favored position. The disciples had been arguing over who was the (Mt 20:20-24; Mk 10:35-41; Lk 9:46).
10. The “sons of thunder” (John and James) took offense at the rejection of Christ by the Samaritans. They wanted to avenge with fire from heaven (Lk 9:51-56).
APPLICATION: “Is my anger biblical or sinful?”
1. What’s my ? Has a clear, biblical sin been committed? (Support with Scripture.) If so …
2. What’s my motivation? What is the reason(s) you are so concerned about this sin?
3. What’s my ? Are you handling this concern over his sin within your biblical responsibility?
II. Common Expressions of Sinful Anger
A. Unjustified Anger – Anger built on a “distorted” perception of justice
B. -Based Anger (or Jealous Anger) – Anger built on fear resulting in fight or flight
C. Proud Anger – Anger that emerges out of a high sense of entitlement or personal rights
D. -Inflicted Anger – Anger over consequences of one’s own choices
E. Bitter Anger – Anger that a perceived injustice is unresolved
F. Wrath-Kindling Anger – A growing energy to deal with the injustice (Ps 37:8)
G. Anger – A punitive response to a perceived injustice (2 Sam 12:5-6)
H. Noisy Anger (Clamor) – Avenging the injustice through noise
I. Slanderous Anger – Avenging the injustice through sinful speech
J. Anger – Avenging the injustice through intent to harm
III. Transforming the Heart of Sinful Anger
A. Sinful Anger Stems from the Condition of the (Mt 15:19-20)
1. Anger occurs because the heart is idolatrous and unrestrained in its desires. (Jas 1:14-15)
2. Anger occurs because the heart is . (Prov 18:12; Prov 13:10)
- We become sinfully angry to the degree that we believe we deserve that which was denied us. Our sense of justice is aroused.
3. Anger occurs because the heart is deceiving. (Jer 17:9; Eph 4:22)
B. A Biblical Strategy: Using Provoking Situations for God’s Good Purposes (Eph 4:31-32; Gen 50:19-20)
1. Humbly examine your concern to determine if you have a -based, biblically justifiable concern
2. Exercise greater thoughts of God and desire for God.
3. Exercise humble thoughts before God.
4. Exercise -hearted thoughts toward the person.
5. Minister, not massacre as a tool of the Spirit and the aroma of Christ.
6. Examine yourself for any contributing sin and opportunities to grow in Christlikeness.
7. Evaluate if you need better in related areas to potentially lessen circumstantial provocation.
8. Evaluate if you are pursuing lofty goals (i.e. too difficult for you), or even godly goals INDEPENDENT of God.
7 Questions to Reprove and Correct the Heart of Anger
All sinful anger is not caused by provoking situations and people, but by idolatrous desires of the heart. (Jas 4:1-10)
1. Who is to for your anger and fighting?
(vs 1) From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2. Does God with your issue? Have you asked Him about giving you the things you are angry about?
(vs 2) ye have not, because ye ask not
3. Have you idolized a good thing above God? Do you want this so you can glorify God and love others better, or just because it benefits you?
(vs 3) Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
4. Do you see your anger and fighting as as God does? It is spiritual adultery before Him. Until you see this, you will not hate and weep over that which your heart idolizes more than Him.
(vs 4) Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?
5. Are you willing to “draw near” to God for when you are denied that which you desire and typically fight over?
(vs 8) “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
6. Will you identify and of all angry expressions of such adultery/idolatry with a godly sorrow? Make such a list.
(vs 8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
7. Who can exalt you more, the Lord or that which you idolize? disappointment and fighting with expectant humility before the Lord.
(vs 10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
*Taken from Tim Bryant and the Low Country Biblical Counseling Center