The Devil Wants You Angry

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the might, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32).

Jerry Bridges says anger is “a strong feeling of displeasure, and usually of antagonism…often accompanied by sinful emotions, words, and actions hurtful to those who are the objects of the anger.” (Respectable Sins, pg. 156)  

And remember this: anger is always a choice. No one forces us to be angry. We can never make the claim, “You are making me angry.” Someone’s actions or speech may tempt us to be angry, but we still choose to react in anger.

Now, there is righteous and unrighteous anger. God is sinless and yet the Bible teaches us that God is angry. Let me give you a few examples of when God was angry (I Kings 11:9; II Kings 17:18; Ps 7:11; 79:5; Mark 3:5; John 2:13-22).  

Determining whether our anger is sinful or not depends on the answers to this question: “Why am I angry?” For example, our anger is sinful when there is no reason for it. Our anger is sinful when it is directed at the person and not their sin. Our anger is sinful when it is vengeful. Our anger is sinful when it is cherished. Our anger is sinful when it is accompanied with unforgiveness.  Our anger is sinful when pride drives it.These forms of anger are not the forms of anger that produce the righteousness of God (Jas 1:20).  

Don’t let anger fester. Don’t sleep on it. Why? The Devil is given room to roam in your heart if you remain angry! How? By tempting us to be resentful, bitter (Heb 12:15), judge and jury over others, divisive, and hateful.

Before we know it, our anger becomes a grudge or a refusal to forgive or a wish for vengeance. We ought not to give the Devil any ground on which to stand.

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