Proverbs – On Facing Our Anger Wisely from Prov 12:16, 14:29, 15:1, 15:18, 20:5 Print
Written by John Tsang   
Wednesday, 21 March 2018 09:01

 

The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out. (Prov 20:5)

 

 

Anger is something that we all experience; it is part of our human nature. Proverbs offer us wisdom on how we can handle it wisely.

 

Goodness of Anger. There are positive aspects of this emotion. In Eph 4:26, the experience of anger is assumed; it is how we deal with it that can lead us to sin. In Exo 34:6-7, God revealed Himself to Moses as a God who is ‘slow to anger’, implying that God Himself does get angry. Therefore, the Christian ideal is not no anger, but it is slow to anger and constructively dealing with it.

What Went Wrong? If anger has its good purpose, what went wrong?

1. Disordered love. John Chrysostom summed it up this way: He that is angry without just cause, sins. But he who is not angry when there is just cause, also sins. In other words, anger which is tied to what we love and our desires, have been disordered by sin.

2. We’ve developed unhealthy ways to deal with our anger. We either bottle it up or we explode like a volcano causing a trail of fear behind us. (Prov 15:18, 22:24)

3. Power of Anger. Anger is known to cause harmful physiological effects to our hearts and our bodies. Anger that turns into rage can cause long term damage to our relationships. And a quick temper can negatively affect our ability to make wise decisions (Prov 14:29).

 

Handling Anger with Wisdom. Proverbs offer us some ways to handle anger wisely:

1. Reflect and search your hearts. (Prov 20:5, Psalm 4:4)

2. Develop emotional and spiritual reserves. (Prov 15:1)

3. Find healthy ways to deal with your anger. (Prov 20:5, 15:18)

4. Healing and transformation through forgiveness. (Prov 12:16, 20:22)

 

Perhaps the most redemptive thing we can do if we are on the receiving end of anger is to forgive and to break the cycle. God demonstrated this for us in Christ as He absorbed the unjustified anger of humanity and offered us forgiveness. Through this process, it was the means by which God provided salvation to humanity.

 

Peace and grace, John.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 March 2018 10:09