May 11: “The Holiness of Anger”

7 Minute Read


1 Samuel 10:1–11:15
John 6:43-71
Psalm 107:1-43
Proverbs 15:1-3


1 Samuel 11:6 (CSB): “When Saul heard these words, the Spirit of God suddenly came powerfully on him, and his anger burned furiously.”


Look back at Today’s Bible Verse. It clearly says that “the Spirit of God suddenly came powerfully on” Saul “and his anger burned furiously.” It is as plain to see that the Holy Spirit was the one who brought about the anger in Saul.

Saul got angry and it was God who did it.

Sometimes, it is utterly wicked not to be angry.

If you click here, you will read about a mom whose children were horribly neglected. The only clothes they wore were from school. One of the children couldn’t remember the last time she had a bath. When authorities visited the home, they found filth and garbage everywhere. There was no edible food to be found … except in the mother’s room.

From the article:

“‘The roaches were on nearly every surface in the home’ including ‘on the children’s mattress, in the pots and pans in the kitchen, and inside the cabinets/fridge,’ the report stated.”

“There was no edible food inside of the home. The cabinets were empty of food and the refrigerator had two cartons of spoiled milk, spoiled eggs, sugar and a stick of butter.”

“Stevenson’s bedroom, however, was ‘abnormally’ clean with minimal roaches and a stashed bag of snacks, according to the report.”

Friend, if the neglect and emotional abuse of those children leaves you indifferent, you have something wrong with your heart. I believe that Christians who read about such mistreatment and injustices should experience anger welling up inside of them.

To be sure, venting one’s anger is sinful.

Proverbs 29:11 (CSB): “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise person holds it in check.”

But, when you get angry at sin and injustice, you are acting in the way that a Christian should act. In fact, you are responding in the way that God responds.

Do you not believe that anger should be a part of the Christian life? Consider the following comments and Scriptures.

You can’t read Matthew 23 without realizing that Jesus was angry. You can’t say the things He said without being indignant. Just listen…

Matthew 23:13 (CSB): “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! …”

Matthew 23:16 (CSB): “Woe to you, blind guides, …”

Matthew 23:33 (CSB): “Snakes! Brood of vipers! How can you escape being condemned to hell?”

In the following passage, Jesus entered a synagogue. A man was there who had a shriveled and useless hand. The Pharisees were so cold-hearted that they were daring Jesus to have compassion and heal the man since it was the Sabbath on which no work was to be done..

And Jesus got angry.

Mark 3:1-5 (CSB): “Jesus entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a shriveled hand. In order to accuse him, they were watching him closely to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath. He told the man with the shriveled hand, ‘Stand before us.’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ But they were silent. After looking around at them with anger, he was grieved at the hardness of their hearts and told the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ So he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.”

In the following passage, we read that Jesus went into the temple and cleared it out. He did it with force … and a whip. There is no scenario in which we can imagine Jesus saying and doing the following things without being angry.

John 2:14-16 (CSB): “In the temple he found people selling oxen, sheep, and doves, and he also found the money changers sitting there. After making a whip out of cords, he drove everyone out of the temple with their sheep and oxen. He also poured out the money changers’ coins and overturned the tables. He told those who were selling doves, ‘Get these things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!'”

When we look at Jesus, God in the flesh, we are looking at the only perfect man to ever walk planet earth. We are observing the only person to every completely fulfill the law of love.

And, yet we are looking at a man who was angry on multiple occasions.

Clearly, anger is sometimes appropriate and necessary. In fact, since Jesus got angry, anger can be a holy reaction.

Did you know that there is a verse in Scripture that actually commands us to get angry?

Ephesians 26:27 (CSB): “Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and don’t give the devil an opportunity.”

“Be angry” is written in the imperative. It is written as a command.

So, how can we be angry and not sin? Let me give you a few points to ponder as I bring this blog post to a close:

  • Anger needs to be directed at sin and injustice. We see this in the examples of Jesus’ anger.
  • Anger needs to be temporary. Ephesians 26:27 makes it clear that we need to be over the anger by the end of the day (“don’t let the sun go down on your anger”).
  • Don’t spue out your anger (Proverbs 29:11). Instead, let it motivate you to take constructive measures.

If you want to dig deeper into what the Bible has to say about anger, why not simply look up the words “anger” and “wrath” in an online Bible and then read the verses (and their contexts).

Ultimately, we want to be conformed to the image of Jesus (the teaching of Scripture), even in the area of anger. So, read up on what the Bible has to say about it and make the necessary adjustments in your thinking and actions.

Posted by

I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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