697) Thoughts on Anger

     Many words of wisdom speak of anger as something bad.  “Anger is a bad counselor,” says an old French proverb.  An African proverb says, “Anger is like a stone cast into a wasp’s nest,” and, says another, “Anger punishes itself.”  Yet another says, “A man who acts in anger is angry with himself when he returns to reason.”  The Bible adds to these admonitions against anger, saying in Ecclesiastes, “Anger rests in the heart of a fool,” and, in Proverbs, “An angry man stirs up strife.”

     But some have viewed anger in a more positive light.  Martin Luther said, “I never work better than when I am inspired by anger; for when I am angry, I can write, pray, and preach well, for then my whole temperament is quickened, my understanding sharpened, and all mundane temptations and vexations depart from me.”  Aristotle said, “It is easy to lose one’s temper, anyone can do that– but to be angry with the right person and at the right time and to the right extent and with the right object and in the right way– that is not easy, and not everyone can do it;” but it is sometimes necessary.

     The Bible does not condemn all anger.  Even though some verses express caution about anger, no where does it say one should never get angry.  Rather, says Ephesians 4:26, “In your anger do not sin; let not the sun go down on your anger.”  Get angry, perhaps, if need be, but do not stay angry, do not harbor your anger, do not nurse it, feed it, and keep it alive.  Rather, says God’s Word, get over it by the end of the day.

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A few more words on anger:

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

 –Mark Twain

Speak when you are angry, and you make the best speech you’ll ever regret.  

–Laurence J. Peter

When angry count to ten before you speak.  If very angry, count to one hundred.  

–Thomas Jefferson 

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.
–Thomas a Kempis
 
Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind.  
–Robert Green Ingersoll
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Proverbs 15:1  —  A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
 
Psalm 145:8  —  The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
 
Ecclesiastes 7:9  —  Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
 
Ephesians 4:31  —  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
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