Anger: The Good, The Bad, The Destructive

Day 3 of 8 • This day’s reading


Three Core Truths About Anger

In addition to a solid definition, we need to understand three core truths about anger and how it’s manifested in our world.

1. Anger Is Universal

Anger is a universal emotion. It affects every person, regardless of race, sex, nationality or age—from a screaming toddler to an elderly person red in the face with rage; from the cold of the Arctic to the heat of the Sahara; and from a war zone to a tropical paradise—anger is an emotion known to all people. Regardless of how peaceful or passive a person might seem or desire to be, everyone gets angry at some point in life.

But the fact that everyone gets angry isn’t a justification for it. The universality of anger isn’t an excuse for getting angry, nor is it an excuse for failing to deal with it or failing to direct it toward godly goals.

2. Anger Is Persistent

Anger will not go away on its own. It doesn’t die out. It must be rooted out. Dealing with anger—especially deep-seated anger—requires intentionality.

3. Anger Is Episodic and Pervasive

We’re wise to differentiate between angry episodes and a pervasively angry nature.

Is there evidence that you’re a chronically angry person? Are you angry about something nearly all the time, even if you wear a smile on your face and speak in a soft, calm voice?

There’s a big difference between the person who feels anger as a response to a specific situation or circumstance, and the one whose anger doesn’t go away. If you’re angry at the first step of a journey and are still angry a thousand miles later, you likely live with pervasive anger.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “Be angry, and yet do not sin” (Eph. 4:26). He openly and directly admitted that anger exists, that it’s part of everyone’s emotional makeup—even the most mature and spiritually minded person’s—and that we all get angry from time to time.

Paul is also presenting the truth that anger, in and of itself, isn’t a sin. How we handle our anger and what we do with it is the key.