Proverbs 22:24-25, “Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul.”
Proverbs 14:29, “He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly.”
What a good picture of anger – a hotness in the face. Something doesn’t go your way, seems to be unfair, seems not the way you want it to be, not the way that it should be, and you get hot in the face, and (according to Prov. 14:29) you get stupid.
Notice what this heat in the face is inspired by – some perception of injustice.
Two Kinds of Anger
This means that it is possible for anger to be right and godly. And it is possible for us to be consumed by an ungodly anger.
God is capable of great, righteous anger (Rom. 1:18, 9:22)
But then there is man’s anger (Gen. 4:3-8)
Other great moments in the anger of men –
Jonah 3:10-4:5. “And it got hot.”
Luke 15:28. “But he was angry and would not go in . . .”
Wrath of Man v. Wrath of God
So we see God getting angry with a perfect and righteous and holy anger. And then we see men getting sinfully angry, trying to justify their anger as right and good. James contrasts these two kinds of anger – James. 1:19-20.
First, we tell ourselves that a terrible injustice has been committed and that is what has provoked our anger.
Second, we tell ourselves that our anger, the heat of our outrage, is itself the solution to the problem.
Rather than bring about correction, anger damages the situation. Anger also makes us incapable of letting go. When it is held on to and you refuse to let it go, it becomes bitterness.
Dealing with Anger
So how do we deal with the anger that rages in our hearts? First, we have to understand the difference between the anger of God and the anger of men (Rom. 12:17-19). Once you have a proper perspective, you will find yourself able to name your sin. Then once you’ve identified it, confess it. Now that you’re ready to be done sulking under the gourd tree, go into the party for heaven’s sakes. God didn’t appoint you to wrath, he appointed you to salvation (1 Thes. 5:9).