Do you ever envy Bruce Banner? Banner is, of course, the fictional superhero who, when he loses control in anger, turns into the Incredible Hulk. Do you ever wish that you could express yourself in such Hulk-level tones of green? Do you ever feel so mad that you could SMASH!? Do you ever find yourself being controlled by your anger? It can happen to the best of us, and it can certainly be a foothold for Satan.
The Bible is very clear on anger, and anger itself is not a sin. Everyone gets angry; even Jesus got angry. When he went to the temple when it was nearly time for Passover, Jesus saw that merchants and dealers had set up in the temple and were practicing unfair exchanges.
"Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, 'Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!' Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: 'Passion for God’s house will consume me.'" (John 2:15-17)
Simply being angry is not a sin, and in some cases anger is necessary—we tend to call this righteous anger and it is what Jesus was exhibiting in the passage above. The sin comes when we allow our anger to control us.
"And 'don’t sin by letting anger control you.' Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry," (Ephesians 4:26)
"Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm." (Psalm 37:8)
Rage is defined as violent, uncontrollable anger. This would certainly be letting anger control us. These rage moments, the harsh words we speak but we know we don't mean, the moments when we may wish to grow and turn green—we need to turn away from that kind of controlling anger. Both rage and anger were on Paul's "Get Rid Of" list from Ephesians 4.
The Bible often tells us to be slow to anger and equates this quality with wisdom.
"Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly." (Proverbs 14:29)
"Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry." (James 1:19)
"Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs." (Proverbs 19:11)
"Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back." (Proverbs 29:11)
So don't be controlled by your anger and don't get angry quickly. Be wise and hold it back. Think of the person to whom you are getting angry and remember your love for them.
"Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love." (1 John 4:7-8)
When the anger rises and you feel yourself turning green, tell the Spirit about it, remember to love, give the anger to God, and let the Spirit fill you with His fruits. Show love and patience, live in peace, and be kind and gentle.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.