Thank you for subscribing to our series on Anger. Each reading plan has been designed to stand alone or be explored as part of this series. To make it easier for our subscribers, we've included links to the other plans in this series at the end of Day 8's devotion.
The roots of a person’s anger can run very deep. Anger’s history can reveal a lifelong struggle to overcome resentment, bitterness, and hostility. And the reasons for a person’s anger may or may not be justified. In this reading plan, we'll uncover seven roots of anger that I invite you to explore for yourself and submit to deep consideration and prayer.
Root 1 — Blame & Shame
Who was the first person in the Bible to get angry?
When I ask that question, most people reply, “Cain.”
Without a doubt, he was a very angry man. But I don’t believe Cain is the first person in the Bible who got angry.
Consider carefully what happened in the Garden of Eden. Adam found himself married to the most beautiful woman imaginable. His life was paradise. He had a close relationship with God, ruled over creation, and enjoyed constant renewal of life. Then one day, he took a bite of a forbidden fruit and his entire world came crashing down. He was cast out of the garden and became destined to work by the sweat of his brow until the day he died.
Could it be possible Adam was more than a little angry with the woman? Absolutely. How do I know that? Because he blamed Eve for what happened to them. When God confronted him in the garden, Adam responded, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate” (Gen. 3:12).
The blame game finds its roots in anger. Ashamed and not wanting to take responsibility for what he’d done, Adam lashed out and placed the blame on Eve. And it’s a pattern that continues to this day.
For Eve’s part, she was also angry. When God confronted her about what she did, Eve played the blame game, too: “The serpent deceived me, and I ate” (Gen. 3:13).
Blame is easy ... taking responsibility is hard.
Anger is easy ... self-control is hard.
Externally, we may become angry with others who tempt or entice us to do something morally wrong or against our better judgment. And we might get angry when someone lies or preys upon our vulnerability or weakness.
Internally, we may become angry with ourselves for being gullible, buying into a lie, or participating in a sinful act—even though we knew it was wrong. We blame ourselves and often feel shame—living disgraced, dishonored, unworthy, or embarrassed in our own minds.
But God wants us to know there’s a better way to react. When we’re assured of our relationship with Him, we can take responsibility for our own actions and not fall into the “blame game” trap—whether blaming ourselves or others. And when we accept his forgiveness for our sins and extend that same forgiveness toward others, blame and shame have no power over us.