Tag Archive for 'anger'

Stinging Quote by Sinclair Ferguson

This quote by Sinclair Ferguson, in his book Devoted to God, is one of the more difficult ones I’ve read from a contemporary Christian author. It’s an area of sin that’s often overlooked.

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath,
Colossians 3:8 ESV

Here Paul is speaking about settled hostility [anger]. […]

Paul adds we are to put away wrath. […]

But what if–as one scholar puts it–we translate Paul’s term here as ‘exasperation’? That gets under the skin! If all Paul meant was ‘rage’ we might think of others to whom these words apply, but hardly ourselves. But ‘exasperation’? Respectable impatience? Irritation when things go wrong? Surely these cannot be classed as real sin? But this is to remove God from our perspective. For the root cause of impatience and exasperation lies in our response to the providence by which God superintends our lives. At the end of the day the deep object of our exasperation is the Lord himself. For it is his sovereign purposes and detailed plans, and the way in which he has ordered our steps to bring us into the situation, that has been the catalyst of our exasperation.

So in fact ‘exasperation’ spells spiritual danger. Yet most of us do not think of it as serious sin. In fact we may have said (even with a sense of pride): ‘I am not the kind of person to suffer fools gladly. [Matt. 5:22] I am easily exasperated by them.’ But if so we have become deaf to what we are really saying. For such exasperation is an expression of the warped and distorted old way of life in Adam. It is un-Christlike and needs to be put off. At its heart is a self-exaltation over others, and a dissatisfaction with the way God is ordering and orchestrating the events of our lives.

–Sinclair Ferguson, Devoted to God

Can you imagine what the more argumentative areas of social media would look like if everyone were to take this message seriously? The tenor would be completely transformed. We can easily slip into group-think when we’re constantly bombarded with people being overly blunt with each other. It can become normal. Even if we don’t perceive our words as very harsh–should the other person, or people watching on take it differently–our words don’t come to rest; they can float into other people’s minds as a curse (Proverbs 26:2).

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Colossians 3:13 NLT

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
2 Timothy 2:23-24

Devoted To God Book Cover

“Be angry and do not sin”

Psalm 4:4
Be angry and do not sin;
on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still.

Ephesians 4:26
Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger,

Ephesians 4:26 – Be ye angry, and sin not – That is, if ye are angry, take heed ye sin not. Anger at sin is not evil; but we should feel only pity to the sinner. If we are angry at the person, as well as the fault, we sin. And how hardly do we avoid it. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath – Reprove your brother, and be reconciled immediately. Lose not one day. A clear, express command. Reader, do you keep it?

–John Wesley

The Septuagint, which is copied by St. Paul, Ephesians 4:26, translate this clause, Οργιζεσθε, και μη ἁμαρτανετε; Be ye angry, and sin not. The Vulgate, Syriac, Ethiopic, and Arabic, give the same reading; and thus the original רגזו rigzu might be translated: If ye be angry, and if ye think ye have cause to be angry; do not let your disaffection carry you to acts of rebellion against both God and your king. Consider the subject deeply before you attempt to act. Do nothing rashly; do not justify one evil act by another: sleep on the business; converse with your oten heart upon your bed; consult your pillow.

–Adam Clarke

Psalms 37:8
Refrain from anger and give up [your] rage;
do not be agitated-it can only bring harm.

Ephesians 4:31
All bitterness, anger and wrath, insult and slander must be removed from you, along with all wickedness.

Colossians 3:8
But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth.

James 1:19-20
My dearly loved brothers, understand this: everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, 20 for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.