Throughout the Old Testament, the god of Israel is frequently portrayed as being kindled in anger, his wrath and vengeance raging against his sinful people. Yet when Jesus comes along, claiming to be God, He paints a starkly different picture, a God without a shred of anger or malice in His heart, full of mercy and love, welcoming sinners into His arms even while they are still in their sin. He challenges the Mosaic law and the notions of the Old Testament concerning God in every step and word of His ministry. By the time we get to the Pauline documents, Paul proclaims that anger, rage, and malice are all acts of sin, and that it is the kindness of God that leads man to repentance. The gospel of John dispels the notions of man concerning God in the Old Testament when it says, “No one has ever understood God”. The conclusion of the New Testament writers is clear: anger is not a character trait of God.
When we begin to admire the true character traits of God — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control — it becomes clear that possessing these character traits is the true definition of sanity, and that insanity is being void of such qualities, and that the further our nature is from God’s nature, the more insane we are.
Anger is insanity.
An insane person does not possess the ability to think rationally. I’ve heard many notions in my lifetime as to whether an angry person can think rationally — some say sometimes, some say never — but the majority consensus is that when you are angry, you can’t think rationally. This is more than clear in the light of scripture.
So why ever be angry? Can a good outcome ever come from a decision made in the midst of insanity? When we get angry with our friends and loved ones, the typical response is anger returned. When two people are angry with one another, can a rational solution be reached between two people who have lost their sanity?
What about our children? Is it ever good to be angry with our children? This is the worst scenario of them all, because children are eager to learn, anxious to absorb and imitate. When we allow ourselves to become angry with our children, not only do we strip ourselves of the ability to reason with them, but we also provoke our children to anger and rob them of the ability to listen to any reason that we or anyone else might offer to them, and we strangle all sense of rationality from their minds.
Anger is a poison to relationships, an illusion of control, and a barricade to the Spirit of God within us that yearns to reach out in love and compassion. It’s a product of the old world that should never again see the light of day in our hearts and minds.
Image Credit: Gabi Agu