Anger Addiction

You are here

Anger Addiction

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up

×

When something gets us angry, there is a feeling that rushes through us. It may, in large part, be an adrenaline rush because it does just that: It rushes over us and through our body. I'm sure we have all heard how some people continue to do daredevil activities because they are addicted to the adrenaline rush. Well, I agree the same goes for the feeling that surges through us when anger takes hold.

Some of us get a flushed face when angry. We are then filled with the fight-or-flight response. We want to say something or do something. I think we all recognize how hard it is to control our tongue during the initial stage of anger. It's a serious spiritual problem we face: saying or doing something we will regret. Even if what we want to say is something we think is true, it may not be something we should verbalize. Does one really want to tell his or her mother-in-law how bad her cooking is? Would that be constructive or would it forever change the relationship with someone we really care about?

What then can we do? We are all aware angry words hurt the best of relationships. "He that is soon angry will deal foolishly" (Proverbs 14:17 Proverbs 14:17He that is soon angry deals foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.
American King James Version×
, American Standard Version). We must control what we say if we want to become like Christ. Consider how He must have felt on His last night on earth as a human when, after an agonizing prayer session, He returned to find His disciples sleeping (Luke 22:45 Luke 22:45And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,
American King James Version×
)? He had good reason to be angry with them; after all, He had tried to impress on them the importance of this night and what He was about to experience. But how did He react? He patiently admonished them; then proceeded to return to prayer, talking to the only One He could count on. He must have been hurt and disappointed, but He readily forgave them their weakness.

But in our first moments of anger, forgiveness is the furthest thing from our minds. Righteous indignation, self-preservation and the overwhelming need to defend our own thoughts, actions and point of view—these things are what fill us as this heady drug courses through us. James says: "And the tongue is a fire…it defiles the whole body…No man can tame the tongue" (James 3:6 James 3:6And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
American King James Version×
, James 3:8 James 3:8But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
American King James Version×
).

Is it a sin to become angry? Or is it only a sin when we give in and act on our vengeful tendencies? In Ephesians 4:26 Ephesians 4:26Be you angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath:
American King James Version×
we are told: "Be angry, and do not sin." Look at who is on the sidelines egging us on. Isn't it none other than the one who stands ready to accuse the brethren? Satan is called the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10 Revelation 12:10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brothers is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
American King James Version×
). That thought alone should prompt us to try to keep him from winning this battle.

Just knowing Satan's glee over our sins should give us an added incentive to hold our tongues when anger assails us. Ecclesiastes 5:6 Ecclesiastes 5:6Suffer not your mouth to cause your flesh to sin; neither say you before the angel, that it was an error: why should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands?
American King James Version×
exhorts us, "Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin." Believe me, I know how easy it is to give in to the "drug" of anger that pulls us to self-righteous retaliation—after all, in a dispute I'm right and they're wrong. Right?

Some addictions are physical and only hurt us personally. Or at least that's what we would like to think. But addictions almost always hurt others, indirectly if not directly.

Also, every addiction harms us spiritually, since we are not in control of some aspect of our life—and God stresses that we are to control of what we think as well as what we do. Anger, especially uncontrolled anger, holds the potential of harming another person or, at the very least, harming our relationship with others. Psalms 15:1-3 Psalms 15:1-3 [1] Lord, who shall abide in your tabernacle? who shall dwell in your holy hill? [2] He that walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart. [3] He that backbites not with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor.
American King James Version×
asks, "Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?" The answer is: "…He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor…"

The children of men say, "Our lips are our own; who is Lord over us?" (Psalms 12:1-4 Psalms 12:1-4 [1] Help, LORD; for the godly man ceases; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. [2] They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. [3] The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaks proud things: [4] Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?
American King James Version×
). Well? Who is Lord over us? I hope we will see how dangerous anger, especially uncontrolled anger, is to our spiritual life. Harsh words stir up anger (Proverbs 15:1 Proverbs 15:1A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
American King James Version×
).

God watches to see how we will use our tongue. He says the tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours out foolishness.

Be careful! May God grant us the strength to control our anger.