The Bible on Anger


Here’s a poem I wrote in 1979 after throwing a hissy-fit, and shouting in anger at someone that I can’t even remember now. I do remember saying things I wished I hadn’t. The words hurled themselves at my targeted victim, like darts at a dart board, and I was immediately filled with regret. Since then I have worked very hard at harnassing my anger, but every once in a while, something triggers it, and off I go on a short-lived tangent. Here then is Anger:

When anger

rears its ugly head,

the spoken word

is best unsaid.

The heat of anger

spawns words of ice,

sears heart and soul

and quickly dies

to a smoldering ash

of regret.

©1979

Somehow it makes me feel better to know that even Jesus got angry on several occasions. Mark 3:5 tells us, “He looked around at them in anger, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts.”

In Matthew 21:12 he overturned tables and chairs in his anger at the people using the temple as a marketplace.

In Exodus 32, God tells Moses how angry he is that the people carved out a golden calf to worship, and calls them a stiff-necked people. And then Moses gets really angry with the people and smashes the tablets God had written upon up on the mountain. There was a lot of anger going on in the Old Testament and that’s not even touching on Noah and the flood in Genesis.

And yet James, in the New Testament, cautions that everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.  (James 1:19) Oh, how I need to heed that advice sometimes!

Paul tells the Ephesians, “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,… (Ephesians 4:26)

This makes good sense because to go to bed angry would not promote a good night sleep.

Ah, is it any wonder that the Bible is one of my favorite books? It is filled with such history, wisdom, poetry and yes, even a hint of anger to ease my conscience when I succumb to that dreaded emotion on occasion.

 

 

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