The 7 Roots Of Anger

Day 2 of 8 • This day’s reading


Root 2 — Pride

Most people are born with a desire to be number one. It’s been part of our human nature since Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden and introduced sin into the world.

Babies cry as a demand to be fed in their first hours of life. As they grow, they learn that crying and throwing tantrums “works”—it’s a way to have their desires met. The sad truth is, some people are still throwing tantrums even when they’re 20, 40, 60, or 80 years old. Why? Simply because they still want their own way. They want what they want when they want it, regardless of another person’s needs or feelings. Pride is their driving force. 

Any time a person doesn’t get what he deeply desires, anger is likely. Whether it’s jealousy, envy, greed, losing something closely tied to his identity, or being denied something he truly believes he needs, anger tends to be the result when things don’t “go his way.”

But no one can have his or her way at all times and in all situations. Many people become angry when they don’t have control over a desired situation or individual. And the anger of some can spin out of control when they realize they cannot and will not have control over God.

There are many examples of pride-related anger found throughout the Bible. Let’s take a look at a few:

  • Moses—The first time we see Moses angry is when he kills an Egyptian soldier who was beating a Hebrew slave (Ex. 2:11-12). He ended up fleeing for his life and remaining on the back side of the desert for decades—until God called him to return to Pharaoh’s court and deliver the children of Israel out of bondage and into the Promised Land.

  • Saul—This first king of Israel frequently displayed anger, especially toward David.  Saul tried to kill David by throwing a javelin at him—twice. He ordered him murdered in his bed, and later, he pursued the future king relentlessly into some of the most remote regions of Israel. All this was done in a jealous rage rooted in King Saul’s perception that David was trying to seize control of his kingdom. 

  • Peter—In the New Testament, Peter cut off the ear of a temple guard in the Garden of Gethsemane. The apostle was angry that Jesus was being arrested, but the Lord immediately said to him, “All those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword” (Matt. 26:52). 

Time and again, God’s Word reveals that His people displayed anger in ways that didn’t produce good results. In fact, their bitterness, hostility, and rage resulted in rebuke or negative consequences for them and sometimes for the people around them. Most of these examples are related directly to pride and their desire to have things done their way.