Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26–27
Humans are emotional creatures. We possess something beyond simple “animal instincts” and we are created with complex passions with the potential for both good and evil. At the watershed moment of human testing it was both reason and emotion that let us down. “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” (Genesis 3:6) Eve’s desires were tested and rather than being zealous for wisdom and life, she succumbed to the lure of Satan’s lie. In the very next chapter of Genesis, Cain killed his own brother because he nurtured anger against him (Gen 4:6-8). And so the story of the Bible repeats page after page with descriptions of rage, jealousy, mourning, grief, pride and envy. But our emotions give us the potential for great joy and excitement and laughter and love.
In the book of Proverbs, the greatest advice is to put on love while the loudest warnings involve the emotion called anger.
The following are a list of quotes from the book of Proverbs with a brief NOTE in CAPS after each to suggest what the verse says about emotions.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. (Pr 3:3–4).
Each heart knows its own bitterness,
and no one else can share its joy. (Pr 14:10).
INTRO QUESTION about personal nature of emotion
Even in laughter the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief. (Pr 14:13).
INTRO QUESTION about temporality of emotion
A quick-tempered person does foolish things, and the one who devises evil schemes is hated. (Pr14:17)
AGAINST QUICK TEMPER
Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. (Pr 14:29)
FOR PATIENCE – AGAINST QUICK TEMPOR
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. (Pr 14:30).
FOR CONTENTMENT – AGAINST ENVY
A king delights in a wise servant, but a shameful servant arouses his fury. (Pr 14:35).
AGAINST PROVOKING OTHERS
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Pr 15:1).
FOR WISE WORDS – AGAINST FOOLISH WORDS
A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.(Pr 15:18).
FOR PATIENCE and CALMING NATURES – AGAINST QUICK TEMPER
A violent person entices their neighbor and leads them down a path that is not good. (Pr 16:29).
A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. (Pr 19:11).
A hot-tempered person must pay the penalty; rescue them, and you will have to do it again. (Pr 19:19).
FOR DISCIPLINE – AGAINST HOT TEMPER
A king’s wrath strikes terror like the roar of a lion; those who anger him forfeit their lives. (Pr 20:2).
AGAINST ANGERING OTHERS
A gift given in secret soothes anger, and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath. (Pr 21:14).
FOR SOOTHING ANGER and PACIFYING WRATH
Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. (Pr 21:19).
The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name— behaves with insolent fury. (Pr 21:24).
Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. (Pr 25:28).
FOR SELF CONTROL – AGAINST LACK OF SELF CONTROL
Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?(Pr 27:4).
AGAINST ANGER AND FURY AND JEALOUSY
Mockers stir up a city, but the wise turn away anger. (Pr 29:8).
FOR PACIFIERS – AGAINST STIRERS
Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. (Pr 29:11).
FOR CALMING – AGAINST RELEASING RAGE
An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins. (Pr 29:22).
AGAINST STIRRING and HOT TEMPER
For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife. (Pr 30:33).
WHERE GOD IS ANGRY? Exodus? Jesus in the temple?
In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. (Eph 4:26–27).
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. (1 Co 13:4–8).
The bible promotes love (3:3) and demotes hot temper and rash anger (29:11, 22). God’s wisdom is to foster contentment (14:30) and self-control (25:28) within and even assist in pacifying those around us (21:14).
- While anger is not a sin (since God displays wrath and anger) it does manifest what we are most passionate for and that is for our own glory, not God’s.
- Don’t let the sun go down on your anger and do not keep a record of wrongs
- Make anger your signal to listen to where your heart is at – count to ten and pray and then consider what your next move ought to be for the glory of God.
- Our words can be used to cut people deeply or to heal. What are some examples of soothing words and calming remarks which can pacify a situation in either yourself (self-talk) or in another person?
- Commit to memorise 1 Corinthians 13!
Prayer of the Week
Our Lord and our God, thank you for first loving us and being patient and slow to anger. Please help us to be clothed in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Help us to bear with one another and to forgive one another as you forgave us. And over all of this, Father, please help us to put on love. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.