Sunday, March 06, 2011

Is Anger Murder?

My last post on anger mentioned that Jesus warned us to be careful when we get angry. Does that men that the emotion of anger is always wrong that it always leads to murder either metaphorically or actually? No! Not at all.

Anger as a feeling can actually be healthy because it sometimes leads to doing things better. As Jesus said, we need to "Judge" how anger is applied to see if it is good or bad. St. Paul adds his insights to the mix in Ephesians by saying that we must not go to bed with wrath or bitterness in our heart. This is the critical difference.

Anger is a feeling that arises automatically when we get frustrated, hurt or scared. We cannot stop being angry. It is a part of the human nature God created in us. Because God has the ability to be angry so do we humans. However, God's anger is always righteous but human anger is not. When we humans hold on to anger until it becomes a "Root of bitterness" it is dangerous and harmful.

Bitterness is often translated as "wrath" in scripture. It means to have "An attitude of disrespect toward another person or group". When my anger with a wife turns to bitterness it is moving toward murder. And that is what Jesus gets into next.

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