Anger Doesn’t Cause Us To Act Wisely
By: Brian A. Yeager
Righteous people get angry (Mark 3:1-6). Righteous people can even by filled with indignation (Jeremiah 15:17). We can be angry and sin not (Ephesians 4:26). By understanding those Scriptures you just read you can understand that anger is not the problem. Anger is unavoidable and to be expected. We live in an evil world (I John 5:19). If you love the good and hate the evil (Psalms 97:10, Psalms 101:3, Romans 12:9, and Hebrews 1:8-9) you’re going to get angry from time to time at least on those matters (Jeremiah 6:11).
Since anger is not the problem, we do have to identify how anger becomes a problem. Anger becomes a problem for us when we allow anger to rule over us. In other words, anger is a problem when we lack self-control with that anger. Consider a few Scriptures to prove this out: “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly… He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city… The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression” (Proverbs 14:29, Proverbs 16:32, and Proverbs 19:11).
Self-control is something we grow into. In fact, you can notice from what you are about to read just how that works. Keep in mind that the word “temperance” (Strong’s # 1466) means, in the context you are about to read, “self control”. Think on these words: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (II Peter 1:2-10).
So, from the Scriptures we have examined thus far we have learned some things. We can be angry and not sin. Anger is not, in itself, the problem. What we need to do with anger is have control over it. Once we lose control over our anger we are not going to do things that are pleasing to God (James 1:19-20).
This is where we are going to jump into the subject matter we are going to discuss. We are expected by God to act wisely (Psalms 37:30 and Ephesians 5:15-17). What we are going to see in our study is that anger can prevent wise decisions from being made.
Anger Resteth In The Bosom Of Fools
God says this: “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9). From that statement we have learned not to be in a hurry to get angry. Fools have anger residing in them. Anger can cloud our judgment. Don’t just take my word for that. Notice what God says: “He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated” (Proverbs 14:17).
If you and I can control our anger, and be slow in getting angry, we will have an ability that shows great might (Proverbs 16:32). That great might, to control anger, will keep us from making dumb decisions when we are angry. On the other hand, we will act foolishly if we do not have a handle on our anger. We will do things such as stir up strife and abound in transgression (Proverbs 29:22). Does that sound good? Of course not!
Since we read that anger rests in the bosom of fools, we should talk about fools for a moment. Anger and being a fool meet together. Consider this inspired statement: “A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident” (Proverbs 14:16). That verse ends and the very next verse, which I have quoted already two paragraphs above, says what? Anger and foolishness are joined together. Angry people, that is people who have an angry disposition, act foolishly. Fools do not want to learn (Proverbs 18:2 and Proverbs 23:9). Those that are called fools are those whom are lost eternally (Luke 12:13-21). Do you really want to allow anger to make you a fool? Wouldn’t you rather have a grip on your anger and learn to think things through before speaking and acting?
Allow Clear Thinking To Prevail Over Anger
It is not good to be hasty (Proverbs 29:20 and Ecclesiastes 5:1-2). God expects us to think things through. This is even true when it comes to obeying Him (Luke 14:25-33). God does not want us to lead ourselves by emotions (Proverbs 14:12 and Jeremiah 17:9). He wants us to be lead by consideration and thinking (II Timothy 2:7). That thinking needs to be based on proper knowledge and without a desire to act too quickly (Proverbs 19:2 and Proverbs 21:5). God even expects us to seek wise counsel from godly individuals in our decision-making processes (Proverbs 11:14, Proverbs 15:22, and Titus 2:2-6). Even the Apostles acted in such a way wherein they sought counsel when dealing with difficult matters (Acts 15:1-30).
It is very easy to get angry and say or do something wrong. That is what we have to guard ourselves against. We have to have the word of God working within us for us not to sin (Psalms 119:11). We need to meditate upon His word to stay on the clear and right path (Psalms 1:1-2). Even when we are angry, we can run Scriptures through our minds and that will cause us to think about what we are considering saying or doing.
It is an inescapable fact that our actions and words will be negatively impacted by uncontrolled anger. With the need to be and act wisely, we have to understand how important it is to control our tempers. Wrath is a work of the flesh that prevents salvation (Galatians 5:19-21). We have to have the control to cease from anger (Psalms 37:8).
Volume 16 – Issue 24 - February 28th, 2016