Anger vs. Forgiveness

Feeling angry? Is anger destroying your relationships? Do you want to change?

Anger is a strong feeling of dislike, displeasure, or antagonism. It is connected to a host of other negative feelings and behaviors, including rage, hatred, bitterness, vengefulness, and violence.

When we see unrighteousness or injustice, getting upset is a reasonable response. But at other times our anger is improper, such as when we misinterpret what is going on or are too quick to take offense or let our anger grow out of proportion to the cause. Our anger is also unrighteous if we hang on to it for too long.

Anger is inherently dangerous. That’s why the apostle Paul warned, “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26–27). In other words, even if your anger falls into the category of righteous indignation, get past it quickly before it has a chance to harm you. Anger cherished becomes like rot or gangrene. It opens the door to hatred and other sins.

Bitterness is like hatred in that it results from the harm others have done us, but it stays closer to home. While hatred is a feeling of intense hostility toward another person, bitterness is a rancor we nurse in our hearts to keep our anger alive. Hatred is the hostile emissary that we mentally send out to our enemy; bitterness is a fire that smolders deep inside. Both are sinful.

Like its cousin hate, bitterness will eat away at us. If we have an ongoing problem with either hate or bitterness, we need to take aggressive action. If we do not, one error we can be led into is revenge.

What do you do if you are filled with rage or hatred or bitterness? What do you do if you are vengeful or violent? By God’s grace, you get rid of the sin of anger and replace it with the virtue of forgiveness.

Anger is an emotion that is set off when someone else has done something we do not like. We may be quite right in disliking what the other person has said or done. Sometimes, in fact, the offense is monstrous.

But because the offense has a personal origin, the only way to free ourselves of the destructive emotion we feel and move ahead in life is to forgive the person who did wrong.

Hard as it is, forgiveness is a blessing to us because it frees us from anger and all the ill effects that anger brings upon us. That is why God both commands and enables forgiveness.

Our sins against God are immeasurably greater than any offense someone else has committed against us. So let us forgive as we have been forgiven.

As often as someone angers you, just so often can you forgive. That’s the way to beat the anger habit.

5 Steps to Overcome Anger

Discover how to overcome anger in its various forms through time-tested insights that really work!

We have outlined a five-step process in the free ebook, ANGER: When Mad is Bad, to help you work through the repair of that area of your life.

[Download ANGER: When Mad is Bad for free now!]

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