Anger: Is it right or wrong? Well, there’s no one answer to that question. Anger can be right and it certainly can be wrong and harmful. We’ve seen that there is a difference in man’s anger—which is selfish, and God’s anger—which is always directed at evil and not at people.
In addition, we know that fast anger is not right. Psalm 103:8 says that “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness” (NASB). While God is sometimes angry, this verse says he is more importantly compassionate, gracious, and abounding in lovingkindness.
Therefore, I have to be slow to anger, while abounding—overflowing—in kindness, love, and compassion for those people who make me angry. As I look back on occasions when I’ve been angry, I must confess that I was not always abounding in kindness toward those people. I was, in many cases, much more concerned with the problems they had caused me.
One of the ministers at my church was telling us that when he was younger, he had a violent temper; it didn’t take much to set him off. After he became a Christian, he said that his violent temper did not change overnight.
Now, I think it’s easy for us to recognize that violent tempers are wrong. Galatians 5:19-20 lists outbursts of anger (NASB) as one of the deeds of the flesh. So, my minister friend, over time, prayed much about his violent anger, and he now can say that his temper is no longer a problem.
How did he get rid of it? First, he memorized all the verses in Scripture on anger. Then when he felt this great anger, he would say to himself, “If I’m angry, something’s wrong with me.”
Anger was such a destructive force in his life that nothing short of eliminating it would do the job. Jesus said if your arm offends you, cut it off, and if your eye offends you, pluck it out (Mark 9:42-47). In other words, because of the violence of his temper and the quickness with which he could become angry, he had to take drastic measures to bring it under control.
How about you? If your anger is quick, hot, and often, perhaps you need to take some drastic action such as my friend has. There is no doubt that the person who rushes into anger, expresses it freely and emotionally, and exhibits a hot temper is not justified in that anger. That is sinful anger.