Respectable Sins: Anger | Part 2

Angry Birds

In the last post in this series, I defined anger, talked about one form of anger, which is righteous anger, and gave an example. Today we move on to sinful anger, discussing its cause.

What is the Cause of Sinful Anger?

Is should be said first that others are not the cause of our anger. No one causes us to be angry. The actions or words of others are just an occasion for anger to surface. The cause of anger is our own pride, selfishness, or desire to be in control.

Examples

It may be helpful to look at a few examples. As we do, help me pick out the underlying cause of anger in each.

Example #1

You agree to come and speak at a gathering at my house this Friday. I have told all my friends you are going to be there, but then when Friday rolls around, the appointment slips your mind and you don’t show up. The next day you call to apologize, and I jump all over you.

What is the cause of my anger? 

The cause of my anger is pride because you made me look bad in front of my friends.

Example #2 

You hear that someone in the church gossiping about you. When you find out whom, you approach them, but instead of approaching them lovingly, you blow up and start yelling.

What is the cause of your anger?

Again, the cause of your anger is pride, which results from your character and reputation being questioned.

Example #3 

At church, there is vote on whether to move the Sunday service time from 11am to 10:30am. When the vote is tallied, you lose, and the service is moved to 10:30am despite your objection. When you realize you lost, you become angry.

What is the cause of your anger?

Your anger could be caused by a number of underlying sins: a desire to be in control, your selfishness, or your pride.

What Does this Tell Us?

This simple exercise tells us our anger, while provoked by others, is not ultimately caused by them. It is caused by our own sinfulness. As well as we learn there are underlying sins – control, selfishness, and pride. It is appropriate to restrain ourselves when provoked, but if we want to kill the sin of anger, we must deal with these other sins as well.

Question for Reflection

  1. What often causes you to become angry? Is it a desire to be in control, selfishness, or pride?

Looking Forward

In the next post in this series, I will provide a way we can respond when others sin against us.

Resources

Post adapted from Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins, 121-28

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4 thoughts on “Respectable Sins: Anger | Part 2

  1. Pingback: Respectable Sins: Anger | Part 3 « Christianity Matters

  2. Pingback: Respectable Sins: Anger | Part 1 « Christianity Matters

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