Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man. –Proverbs 22:24, ESV
Anger is a growing concern in the United States. I live in the Houston, Texas area and road rage is a daily encounter on our highways. Each day I encounter people with poor judgement on the interstate system because of their anger and sometimes reaping the consequences of that anger driven choice. But as we continue in our series “Avoiding Life’s Mistakes” we find Christians should avoid the mistake of sinning in anger. Realizing this is easier said than done, I want to share motivation for dealing with your anger. There are three primary dangers when one is unable to avoid anger.
1. Anger leads to foolish action (Proverbs 14:17)
Ben Franklin once said “Whatever is begun in anger will end in shame.” This statement is true and has always been true. Anger often brings a person to making choices they would not normally carry out. Out of anger spouses and children are beat, people are injured, cars are wrecked, relationships are severed, harmful words are spoken, and consequences are received. A quick temper is a danger to the Christian and all who are around them. A quick temper and failure to avoid sinning in anger results in foolish action.
2. Anger leads to consequences (Matthew 5:21-22)
Sinning in your anger does not just lead to the consequences of foolish actions, but to eternal consequences. Anger can damage your soul and can make one fall under heavy judgment at the return of our Lord. Learning to avoid sinning in ones anger will help avoid the more severe penalties of God’s judgment, the forfeiture of you eternal home with God.
3. Anger illustrates a lack of wisdom (Proverbs 29:11)
You may feel the same way as I do. I have never looked at someone who is quick to sin in their anger and say “Wow! What a wise human.” Normally, those who submit to their anger become foolish in the eyes of their peers and present a lack of wisdom in both word and deed. In anger, Christ did not sin. Even when taken into custody by a betrayal kiss and put on trial against a murderer Christ displayed wisdom and did not succumb to anger. Rather, Christ stands, acts, and answers wisely. Christians hold great wisdom from Scripture, but this testimony is nullified when our anger gets the best of us.
Sinful anger must be avoided at all costs. It is not only because of the foolish actions or heavy penalty it brings, rather, it is primarily the importance of the wisdom in our testimony that we ought to avoid sinning in our anger. Christians are called to be people of peace, not people of quick temper.
What area in your life have you allowed anger to take hold? How will you give it to God so that he might fill it with peace?