The Upsides of Anger


Dan Wootton

Everyone loves a peaceful person. They make great friends and even better DMV workers. A sweet smile and a patient mind can cure a thousand problems, but what about anger? Is it possible that we’ve undervalued the benefits of anger?

Ephesians 4:26 tells us, “Do not sin in your anger.” James 1:19 challenges us to “be slow to become angry.” Proverbs 29:11 warns us that only “fools give full vent to their rage.” Anger, itself, is never classified as a sin, but operating in anger is like managing dynamite – a lot could go wrong. The misuse of anger can make it difficult to see the upsides. We often miss the mark by sliding towards two extremes.

Suppressed anger is the continual compression of internal frustration. Suppressed anger predictably explodes at the most unpredictable times, and the results are never productive. If you begin your complaint with “You never” or “I always” or “For twenty years,” you’re battling with suppressed anger.

Aberrant anger is the uncontrolled release of internal frustration. Uncontrolled anger accelerates towards bullying, violence, and rage. If you find yourself unexpectedly raising your voice, fleeing a conversation, or becoming physically dominant, you’re battling with aberrant anger.

The outcome seems bleak. Must anger always end in destruction? Can’t dynamite also create something good? Psalm 4:4 tells us to “think about it overnight and remain silent,” but what about the next day? Do we suppress the anger until it resurfaces? Absolutely not. We wake up the next day, and we act. In our right mind and with godly counsel, controlled anger can transform us. The upside of anger brings change to dormancy. The upside of anger convinces us to be unrelenting in the pursuit of God’s plans. Aristotle said it like this…

“Anyone can get angry, that is easy. But to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive and in the right way, that is not for everyone, nor is that easy.”

God gave us the capability of anger to produce positive change. If it’s left uncontrolled or suppressed, it will always destroy us, but God is greater. He will teach us. He will guide us. Grab a stick of dynamite, and let’s use it for good.

Verse of the day:

Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. (Psalm 4:4 NLT)   


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