Anger: Healthy or Hurtful?

I have lived under the devastating effects of the sinful expression of anger for most of my life. It crushes the spirit. It breaks trust. It destroys relationships. It creates a “calloused heart“. I, too, have sinned in this area, measuring the severity of my transgression against that of another and deciding – I’m not that bad.

Recently, in response to grief and pain in my life, I have felt anger – and in this situation a righteous anger is okay. Still, on occasion, I have hurt those closest to me with angry words which I tried to justify… I’m just venting. You don’t understand. If you were in my place… I can’t help it. It’s right that I’m angry.

And – yes – it is right that I’m angry. The question isn’t whether or not anger itself is wrong, but, rather, how am I expressing it? Scripture tells us Be ye angry, and sin not…Ephesians 4:26.

Anger at sin is okay when it is expressed in a healthy way. A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1 We see over and over in Scripture that God gets angry at sin and rebellion: And the Lord’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the Lord, was consumed. Numbers 32:13 But we need to be careful. Why are we angry? How are we expressing it? He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. Proverbs 16:32

Talk to God; tell Him about your hurt, confusion, despair. Pray that God will show you how to express your anger in a right way. “God is good for having brought me to the point of admitting my sin.”Brad Hambrick offers some excellent resources on overcoming anger.

Is your anger hurting you or those around you?